Kosuke, can you see?

The Cubs’ Japanese import, Kosuke Fukudome, went 4-for-5 with a double and a home run last night in Houston. That’s a great sign, and it raises hopes that Fukudome has shed the baggage of last year’s disastrous second half.

In fact, with the exception of Ted Lilly’s off night, it was encouraging all around: the top two in the lineup, Soriano and Fukudome, scored 6 runs and were on base 8 times in twelve plate appearances. A lot of teams would settle for half that output at the top of the order. Mike Fontenot continues to hit the way he did in Arizona this spring, proving that he deserved the everyday job at second base, and the team as a whole coaxed six walks from Houston pitching. Homers are good, but walks put runners on base and tire the opposing pitchers by forcing them to throw more pitches.

A good start to 2009. All together now: this year is next year…this year is next year…this year is next year…

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