MIAMI Melky Cabrera keeps two special baseballs on a shelfin his locker, home and away.
They are not souvenirs from a milestone night. They arenteven game-used. Both of them bear inscriptions in black ink: SALMO 23 andSALMO 91.
You might know them better as this:
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
I will say of the Lord, He is myrefuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Youre more likely to find Cabrera reading hisBible than trying to pie a reporter in the face. Two months into his career with the Giants, Cabrerasteammates are still learning his likes and dislikes. Theyre getting littlewindows into his personality through snippets of conversations and littleflashes of body language on the field.
But by now, they understand the essence. And they certainlyunderstand his impact.
Cabrera scored all three runs and outhit the rest of histeammates 4 to 3 in the Giants 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday a complete effort that made the difference between a winning road trip and alosing one. His homer put them ahead. He stole two bases, too, and shook off a swollen lip after he slidface-first into Omar Infantes glove at second base.
RECAP: Baggs' Instant Replay -- Giants 3, Marlins 2
He leads baseball with 73 hits, and thats not eventhe most impressive part. He has the most hits by a Giant through May for whichday-by-day data is available, beginning in 1920.
More accurately, he has the second most hits by a Giantthrough 48 games in the clubs San Francisco era. Heres the list, courtesy ofDave Feldman:
Willie Mays, 84, 1958
Melky Cabrera, 73, 2012
Orlando Cabrera, 68, 1962
Jeffrey Leonard, 68, 1987
Yep. Its Melky, the Baby Bull, the Hac-Man and the greatestliving ballplayer. That is a good list to crack.
It almost left Cabrera speechless to hear his name linkedwith Mays.
Really happy, said Cabrera, through the translation skillsof Sergio Romo. I didnt know I was up there. Im really happy to be mentionedin the same sentence as Willie Mays.
His teammates were almost as speechless to describe what Cabrerais doing.
Ridiculous, Matt Cain said.
Unbelievable, Angel Pagan said.
Amazing, Romo said.
A joke, Gregor Blanco said. He's hitting line drive, linedrive, line drive. It's amazing."
And Bruce Bochy: Wow.
EXTRA BAGGS: Giants play matador, fluffy schedule ahead, etc.
Its hard to describe the job hes done for us.
What does Cabrera think of all these compliments?
We have good teammates around here, he said, through Romo.Im comfortable. Were one unit here. It makes me feel good they talk about methat way and I feel the same.
Cabrera has 46 hits while hitting .426 in May. Hes got three games remainingto collect five more, which would match Randy Winn for the most hits in any month inthe Giants San Francisco era. Of course, Winn turned that huge September of 2005 into athree-year extension worth more than 27 million. And Cabrera will be a free agentafter this season.
But there is no indication that Cabreras quietly dedicatedpush is about cashing in.
He fits. He blends. He meshes well, Romo said. Hes got afresh, young, aggressive approach. Its impressive. It really is. Hes 4 for 4 and its real! Its not just one day. Hesbeen doing it the whole year. Melky thats whats up! Hes a beast. He reallyis.
Maybe its an example of how overshadowed hes been hiswhole career. Hes just good.
Said Cain: Hes on fire and were loving it.