Let's Hear It for Baseball's Best Batter
Astros' underrated Berkman racks up unbelievable numbers
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2008 2:42 PM CDT
Houston Astros' Lance Berkman (17) is congratulated after hitting a two-run home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto in the first inning of a baseball game on April 24.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
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(Newser) – The best player in baseball right now is hitting .399 on the season, and .586 over the past 15 games, but he's not getting the recognition he deserves, Richard Justice writes in the Houston Chronicle. In past seasons at least, Lance Berkman has been overshadowed by bigger names, but it's time for Astros fans to stand for the Big Puma.

Houston has won 19 of 27 games to claw its way back into the running in the NL Central, thanks in no small part to Berkman's 16 home runs and 44 RBI. With a 15-game hitting streak and a .647 on-base average, the Puma is every pitcher's worst fear, and should be getting an ovation at every at-bat, Justice writes.