I heard Pat and Ron mention today that through completion of yesterday’s (4/18) games, the Cubs had seen the most pitches per plate appearance (P/PA) of any team in the majors this year. I frankly couldn’t believe this, so I looked it up: it’s true! The Cubs have seen 3.95 P/PA, the most in the majors. This is wonderful news, though I doubt that the Cubs will maintain their lead in this category all year: part of the rise can be attributed to a few players (Ramirez, most notably) taking more pitches than they have in the past, and they’re probably bound to return to their old ways. Still, some of the rise is real, attributable to guys like Fukudome and Soto taking a lot more pitches than their predecessors at their respective positions. Fukudome sees 4.60 P/PA, which is simply astounding.

Not surprisingly, the Cubs have been taking a lot more walks this year than in years past. The offense as currently constructed impresses me with its versatility: there are three legitimate 30+ homer guys, three (or four) fast guys, and two super-patient guys (Lee and Fukudome). This is team that gets on base, hits for power, and can steal some bases and play “small ball” if absolutely necessary. If Ted Lilly can find his freakin’ 2007 form, the Brewers will have a tough time keeping up (especially if Ben Sheets is really hurt).