I was drinking my morning coffee while sitting on my back deck this morning, and this question came to me, which got me to ponder on it. Caffeine can do that to us old folks.
Now lets begin by working on an ASSUMPTION (nothing more). Because I realize it's only May and we've been in this position before, as far as W-L record goes, only to see it disappear as the season progresses.
This team's "winning ways" began last Sept/Oct, when we finished the season 20-11, and has carried into this season... April we finished 12-11, May we're 17-9.
But when I look at this current team I see basically the same team as last year with a few additions. We added Rolen, and called up Stubbs, in the second half of last year. We acquired everyone's fav SS in Cabrera in the off-season, and have witnessed the surprise called Leake to the rotation, and added Cairo to the bench, as well as youngsters Sutton and Heisey.
And I might add there were also some positive subtractions from last year.
But it appears to me that we really can't say that any one particular player, or even category, such as hitting, pitching, etc., has really been the sole factor in carrying this team so far.
I really think it's been a team effort with practically everyone, at some point, stepping up and performing, contributing to our current winning ways.
Our starting pitching certainly has been a huge plus this past month. The starting staff is 9-0 with a 2.82 ERA in 14 games since May 14.
Ofensively.... check this out...we currently lead the NL in Runs, Hits, Hrs, RBIs, BA, OB%, SLG% and OPS. En fuego!
We seem to have a good mix (blend) of veterans and youth. And the results we are seeing can found in both tangibles and the intangibles. Intangibles meaning, in that clubhouse and dugout, they seem to have a different attitude, that this team believes in itself, that they can play with anyone and win, and most importantly - they just don't give up.
And I give credit to Baker for that too.
But besides the "good ol' reliables", like a Rolen, Votto, or Phillips, we are getting positive production from "unlikely" sources, like a Cabrera and even Cairo, that many said wouldn't be there.
I definitely see a different Bruce in 2010 at the plate. Maturity? And can the same be said with some of the other youth on this roster. We just need to play them, be patient, and quit putting so much pressure on them.
And one can quote all the career stats they want on Cabby, but since Baker dropped Stubbs down to #8, and took some of the heat off of him, and put Cabrera at lead-off, with Phillips batting second, it looks like a stroke of genius on Dusty's part.
Cabby, since he's been leading off, is batting .321 and has an OB% of .372. I could care less what his OPS is. Those other two are the most important stats for me leading off.
Phillips in the #2 slot? .296 BA .367 OB% .500 SLG% .867 OPS
These guys are leading the way in getting on base in front of guys like Votto, Rolen, Bruce, and Gomes.
And I definitely like our catching tandem in Hernandez and Hanigan.
I'm really beginning to believe in this 2010 team, and that it's not just a fluke, meaning, I think they will make this one helluva race in the NL Central, and could win it.