06/22/2007 2:07 PM ET
Mike Lamb: On a tear, for now
Mike Lamb is batting .316 with six homers and 20 RBIs this season. (Francis Specker/AP)
Part of me doesn't even want to talk about the success I've had at the plate in the last week or so. I'd rather just ride the wave.
Simply put, I've been getting good pitches to hit and good things have been happening for me. I'm really happy about it because producing from the seventh spot gives a big lift to our lineup and our big guys like Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman.
It really lengthens a team's lineup and makes it stronger one through nine when the No. 7 guy contributes. When that happens, a pitcher can't pitch around the guys in the middle of the order to get to guys at the end of the order. Every team relies on their three and four hitters to carry them throughout the season, so when you make other spots in the lineup dangerous, everyone benefits and it increases your odds of winning games.
Baseball is a game of ups and downs. Prior to my current stretch, I went through a down spell. It wasn't the down spell so much, because that's expected, it was the length of it that bothered me. I told myself it was still early in the season. I had to stick with it. I gave every at-bat my best effort and concentration. I knew if I stuck to my plan, things would eventually turn for me.
When I slump, I try to keep things in perspective. I know I'll have down times and I know I'll have good times. I wish there would be just steady times. I don't want an 8-for-64 and then an 11-for-18. I want to be somewhere in the middle. The good times are great, and those bad times obviously aren't. You strive for consistency. You want to be reliable to your team.
I've played some different positions in the field. I try to keep fielding separate from hitting. The trick is to separate the two and to not let one affect the other. But we're human beings and a lot of times that's difficult.
What works best for me defensively is if I know in advance, either in the day or in the week, what position I will field. Knowing where I might play helps me mentally prepare. I can go through the process of making plays in my head. It's like a batter who knows what pitcher he's going to face. You can visualize his motion and how he's going to pitch you.
Having been around the game for as long as I have, it's weird how it all works out. You can count on a player, regardless of how they're doing at a certain time, to have his statistics level out to a norm at the end of the year.
Obviously there are exceptions to that -- guys have good years and guys have bad years -- but for the most part it all balances out in the end.
Mike Lamb is 16-for-25 over a seven-game stretch with three home runs, including a grand slam, three doubles and 13 RBIs. He's batting .316 this season with a .387 on-base percentage, .504 slugging percentage and an .890 OPS in 133 at-bats.