Fukudome Continues To Taunt Cubs Fans

Is this real or not?

Earlier, we whined about the Cubs injuries, and how we don't know anything about them, and how basically any outcome seems possible at this point, because the Cubs really haven't figured out how to be healthy yet this season. An exception is Kosuke Fukudome. Where others have disappointed, Fukudome has played his first 17 games in otherwordly offensive fashion.

The numbers are pretty insane: .371/.481/.66. Four home runs. 15 RBIs. 23 hits. 14 runs. Obviously, these numbers won't keep up. The question is not whether Fukudome will fall to Earth but when, right? This can't keep up, can it?

Yet another test for Fukudome will be whether he can adapt to Lou Piniella's lastest attempt at finding a three-hole hitter during Derrek Lee's absence. Piniella tried Alfonso Soriano there last weekend. It didn't really work. For whatever reason, Soriano has a weird hang-up about being the leadoff man -- he likes his first-pitch fastballs, sure, but at this point it has to be mental.

So it became Fukudome's turn. He responded with more 2009 Kosuke Fukudome play: Five RBIs (a career high), a three-run homer in the fourth (his first ever against a lefty as a Cub), and a typically stellar game defensively. Fukudome is solid defensively, even when he doesn't hit. But you add that bat and you've got a bonafide All-Star.

The problems here are that it's only three weeks in, and that we all saw this last year. Fukudome was great to start -- though not this great -- before fading as the season wore on. Will that happen this year? Or has Fukudome figured it out for good? We have little precedent here. We'll just have to wait and see.

Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.

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