Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cubs use power to surge into third-place tie

Jim Prisching / AP

I will quickly dispense with the negative thought that can't help but run through my mind when it comes to Aramis Ramirez--that it would have been nice if a few of these home runs and RBI had come before the Grim Reaper took his scythe and hacked the 2010 Cubs season to pieces--and move on to the positive feelings that Cubs fans are feeling after 13 unanswered runs gave them a 14-7 victory over the Astros.

Ramirez is now hitting .404 since ... well, since he started hitting. He's had at least one hit in 10 of the last 13 games and at least two hits in nine of those games. He's also had at least one RBI in eight of those contests and scored at least one run in 10 of them. Actually, you know what--let's get a little crazy; I feel a list coming on:

Last 13 games:

19 hits
Most hits in any month, excluding July: 14

9 home runs
Number of games it took him to hit 9 home runs prior to the last 13: 75

24 RBI
RBI this season prior to last 13 games: 23

18 runs
Runs this season prior to last 13 games: 19

Last two games: 10 RBI
RBI in May and June combined: 10

Season stats extrapolating last 13 games to 162-game season: .404, 112 HR, 300 RBI

You can enjoy the ride he's on right now or be angry with him for mysteriously turning into a Single-A hitter for the first half of the season. I'm doing a little bit of both, myself, but trying to forget that the first three months ever happened. What do you mean Ramirez couldn't hit an 85 mph fastball down Broadway a month ago? I don't know what you're talking about, crazy person. The Cubs have scored over 6.6 runs per game over those last 13, and in this disappointing season, I'm choosing to be thankful for the fact that now, at least, the games are watchable.

While the offense has been hot, Silva and Dempster had perhaps the worst back-to-back starts we've seen all season the last two days, and hopefully Lilly can get the pitching back on track today. The team has scored more than three runs for Lilly just once in his last 11 starts, but it seems that he's taking the mound at the right time. They need a win to take their first series from Houston in three tries.

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