Henry Blanco had the game-winning hit in Friday's 3-2, 11-inning Cub victory over the Cardinals, but it was Jim Edmonds's two home runs against his former mates that commanded the day's highlight reel.
Back in May when Edmonds was newly a Cub, some jerk set up a sort of Jim Edmonds Death Watch tied to the number of at-bats the centerfielder could accumulate without earning his first RBI in Chicago blue pinstripes. The number reached 26 before Edmonds clubbed his first Cub home run in a 10-9 win over the Rockies, and the fact is, Edmonds has been producing ever since. Heading into Friday's action, Edmonds's offensive numbers as a Cub were .279 AVG/.381 OBP/.588 SLG/969 OPS. In 56 games, he has hit 14 HR and collected 38 RBI.
Moreover, coupling Edmonds's offense with that of fellow centerfielder Reed Johnson (.299/.363/.444), the Cubs have gotten the second best productivity in the NL from a position that looked like a potential offensive sinkhole for them back on Opening Day, when it was manned by non-hitting Felix Pie.
Here's a look at the offense, as measured by OPS, which National League teams have gotten from their respective centerfielders (team's primary CF is in parens):
- St. Louis (Rick Ankiel) 854
- CUBS (Jim Edmonds) 853
- San Diego (Jody Gerut) 844
- Pittsburgh (Nate McLouth) 835
- Philadelphia (Shane Victorino) 828
- New York (Carlos Beltran) 795
- Milwaukee (Mike Cameron) 791
- Atlanta (Mark Kotsay) 749
- San Francisco (Aaron Rowand) 739
- Arizona (Chris Young) 721
- Washington (Lastings Milledge) 718
- Florida (Cody Ross) 715
- Cincinnati (Corey Patterson) 698
- Colorado (Willy Taveras) 658
- Los Angeles (Matt Kemp) 621
- Houston (Michael Bourn) 590