Ryan Theriot's hitting streak ended this week at 20 games, but the St. Louis Cardinals' shortstop was probably happy to trade another few games of streaking for his first home run of the season, a Craig Biggio special that had just enough loft to land in the Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park. With the home run Theriot's hitting .298/.347/.364, a very solid line for a shortstop in the low-offense environment we've seen through two months of the 2011 season.
The question remains: How many home runs will Theriot hit in 2011? Those of us who saw the home run will likely offer lower totals than those of us who didn't, though as Crawford Boxes home runs go it was pretty far off the left field line. I don't think anyone will take the over on David Eckstein's eight in 2005, which is simply impossible for me to understand here in 2011. (Theriot is bigger than Eckstein, which is why it seems even vaguely plausible, although—aside from his own seven homer year with the Cubs—he plays even smaller.)
Theriot's currently on pace for 33 extra-base hits in 570 at-bats; his offseason explanation for his slumping career—that the Cubs asked him to start swinging for extra-bases, and that he planned on stopping—certainly seems more plausible than ever.