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June 10, 2010

Derrek Lee Hits 300...Alfonso Soriano Up Next

Lost in the excitement that has been the last couple of weeks (Stephen Strasburg's debut, a perfect imperfect game) is the fact that we're starting to see some milestones reached in Major League Baseball.

Prior to the 2010 season, The Hall
broke down the National League Central and compared this year's Cubs to last year's Astros. You see, last year, Houston ahd three players (Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman and Ivan Rodriguez) all reach the 300 home run plateau.

Last night, the first of the potential Cubs trifecta went yard and became the 126th player in history to reach the milestone.

"I was aware, but I wasn't going up there thinking let's try to get to 300," Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said following the game. "But now that I'm there, it feels good. It's a nice accomplishment."

The former All-Star is the seventh player to reach the milestone with the Cubs joining Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ron Cey and Andre Dawson. Sammy Sosa. Sosa was the most recent, hitting his 300th on June 26, 1999.

Now, with Lee's blast out of the way, Cubs historians can focus their attention on left fielder Alfonso Soriano (who hasn't went deep since May 23)...but they might not have to wait very long.

Sitting at 299 career homers, he is scheduled to face Dave Bush, Jake Peavy and Mark Buehrle in the Cubs next three games. For his career, Soriano is hitting .280 (23 for 82) and five home runs versus the three hurlers.

If I was a betting man (and I'm not), I'd say Soriano's best chance is Friday versus Peavy...a pitcher who he's hitting .375 (6 for 16) with two career home runs against.

The third Cub who, before the season, was knocking on 300s door is Aramis Ramirez, but odds are the oft injured slugger won't be sniffing the milestone for a while now. Mired in a season long slump...the third baseman's production has stalled and he is sitting at 269 home runs.

BallHype: hype it up!

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