Lance Berkman is having a remarkable season. He hit his 15th home run of the season (into McCovey Cove to boot) in the 9th inning last night, giving the Astros an 8-7 win over San Francisco and continuing to push the surprising Astros into contention in the N.L. Central. Berkman is carrying Houston’s offense, hitting .391/.472/.808 and leading the majors in WPA at 4.13. He’s on a 14 game hitting streak during which he’s hitting .556. His BRAA (32.45) is almost equal to the combined total of the #1 (Carlos Quentin, 18.43) and #2 guys (Grady Sizemore, 14.27) in the American League. He’s playing at another level right now.
However, Berkman did something else yesterday as well that might put all the other numbers to shame – he stole his seventh base of the season, tying his total from last year and putting him three away from his career high. He’s never stolen double digit bases in a season before, but right now, he’s on pace for 28. He’s tied for second among Astros players in steals with Kaz Matsui, and is ahead of notable speedsters Brandon Phillips and Johnny Damon among others.
Apparently, Berkman isn’t satisfied with creating runs by pounding the ball over the wall or wearing pitchers out by drawing walks, but he has to advance himself once he gets on base as well. I think we’ll all be pretty shocked if he keeps running as often as he is now, but considering how well he’s doing everything right now, let’s not put anything past Lance Berkman.
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