HOUSTON - Ask Lance Berkman about his sizzling start and
chances are he won't give a straight answer.
"Spinach. You ever heard of Popeye?" the Astros star says.
Well, there sure is plenty of muscle in his bat these days.
Going into this weekend, Berkman led the majors in home runs
(16) and was second in batting average (.388) and RBIs (45). His
stats this month were even more eye-popping: .506 with 17
extra-base hits and 20 RBIs.
His success is a big reason why the Astros have recovered after
a slow start. They won 14 of 20, including winning a series against
the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs earlier this week.
The four-time All-Star recently had his 17-game hitting streak
broken, but it would've been hard for anyone to keep up his pace.
Berkman batted .545 (36-for-66) with eight home runs, 21 RBIs and
23 runs scored in that span.
At 32, Berkman leads all switch-hitters in home runs and RBIs
Berkman's success is quite a contrast to last year, when he got
off to one of the slowest starts in his career. He recovered to
finish with 34 homers and 102 RBIs.