In the top of the ninth inning Thursday night, with nobody out and Ryan Theriot, the potential lead run, at second base, Derrek Lee struck out on three pitches. It capped a game in which Lee went o-for-4 with two strikeouts and saw his batting average fall to .283. That's the lowest it has been since April 4th, when the season was just four games old.
A couple of hitters later, after Kosuke Fukudome had plated Theriot with a single to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead, Geovany Soto had a chance to bring home an insurance run. He, too, struck out, one of three times Soto fanned Thursday night as his season average also fell to .283, its lowest point since April 16th.
From the beginning of the just ended nine-game winning streak through Thursday's matchup with the Dodgers, Lee has batted .190 (8-for-42) with 12 strikeouts; Soto has hit .171 (6-for-35) with 11 whiffs.
The Cubs have won 10 of their last 11 games, including the 5-4 win over L.A., with virtually no offensive contributions from their first baseman or their catcher.
In its own way, that's pretty impressive.