Lee carrying Cubs' offense
Alfonso Soriano is batting .224. Geovany Soto is batting .222. Aramis Ramirez is still on the disabled list.
And then there's Derrek Lee, hitting in a career-best 20 straight games, leading the Cubs with 37 RBIs, as constant as revelry at the Cubby Bear.
"He can hit," teammate Milton Bradley said Tuesday. "I don't know why, a lot of times, people look for something to criticize guys (about) when they're as solid as D-Lee. It never looks like he's working hard out there, but he makes all the plays in the field. He takes a solid at-bat. Good approach. He always seems to know what the situation dictates.
"He's a very intelligent guy. He works hard. He puts it all together."
Lee isn't about to make a big deal about his hitting streak, but it is the best one going in the majors right now. In fact, he has the second-longest streak in the National League this year, behind Ryan Zimmerman (30).
So far, though, no one has said much about it.
"Not at all," Lee said Tuesday afternoon. "It hasn't been a topic. I don't think it's long enough to really be a topic."
Well, give it some time.
But even with Lee swinging well, Lou Piniella's team is in an almost-daily struggle to stay out of fourth place. Without him, they might be chasing Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates.