Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Soriano's amazing race

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DENVER -- Looking for a distraction from the Cubs' assault on 100 losses and battle of soft-tossing with the Rockies for the No. 2 overall pick in next year's draft?

Other than the Bears -- and Darwin Barney's chase for the within-one-season errorless streak record for second basemen - keep an eye on Alfonso Soriano at the plate the next few days against the crappy pitching of the Colorado Rockies and in two of his favorite ballparks to hit: Coors Field and Arizona's Chase Field.

``I love Arizona. I love it here. Good ballparks to hit in,'' said Soriano, who has a shot in the final eight games to pull off an amazing feat:

Leading the league in RBIs while playing for the fourth-lowest-scoring team in the majors.

Never mind the fact that Soriano has never come close to leading a league in RBIs -- his 105 RBIs representing a career high and just his third 100-RBI season. And never mind what the odds might have looked like when he signed with the Cubs, considering he was a leadoff hitter then.

With eight games left, Soriano trails league leaders Chase Headley of San Diego and Ryan Braun of Milwaukee by just three.

``Those guys in front of me are very good,'' Soriano said. ``We'll see what happens the next eight games. I'm feeling strong, but I'm not even thinking about that. It'd be great, but right now I don't want to think about this.''

Whatever your opinion of the RBI as an achievement or how much the guy knocking in the runs actually has to do with the number, consider that the Cubs have scored only 591 runs this year - meaning Soriano has driven in 18 percent of them.

That's higher than even Headley, whose Padres rank only slightly ahead of the Cubs in runs. Braun's Brewers are among the highest-scoring teams in baseball.

Add Soriano's runs total (minus his 31 home runs), and nearly a quarter of the Cubs' runs this season have been scored by Soriano or scored by a teammate he's driven in.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on September 26, 2012 2:41 PM.

Sappelt can hit a fastball, and other Cubs game-day notes was the previous entry in this blog.

Cubs to discuss coaching staff's future in the next week is the next entry in this blog.

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