Sunday, May 18, 2008

Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros has a 17-game hitting streak going. The record for consecutive games with at least one hit is, of course, 56 by Joe DiMaggio. Berkman thus has quite a ways to go and, in fact, I typically don't even mention an ongoing hitting streak until it reaches 30 games.

What makes Berkman's streak noteworthy, however, even at this early stage, is the "surplus" offensive production he's showing. According to this article on today's Astro game vs. the Texas Rangers:

Lance Berkman was 2-of-5 to keep his average at .399. Berkman is on a 17-game hitting streak in which he is 36-of-66 with eight home runs and 21 RBIs.

Not only is his batting average during the streak an amazing .545, via the 36 hits in 66 official at-bats. With 36 hits in the 17 games, he's averaging more than two hits per game (2.12). And there's more!

As can be seen in the following screen capture from Berkman's player page at (which I've done only because the statistics will change on a daily basis), his slugging percentage in his past seven games exceeds his career figure by nearly .400. (You can click on the image to enlarge it.)

It's a short-term trend, to be sure. However, Berkman really seems to have taken his hitting to a rarefied level.


Though not quite to the same level as Berkman, the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano and the Braves' Chipper Jones have also been hitting the ball well.

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