Bits: Cubs' Murphy continues to surprise

Five players enter Friday having hit eight home runs in August. Chances are, even the most casual baseball fans are well aware of four of them: Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, Atlanta Braves outfielder Justin Upton and New York Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano. And the fifth guy? Well, he's a longtime journeyman infielder with a career .217 batting average, modest power and poor plate discipline. Welcome to fantasy relevance, Chicago Cubs third baseman Donnie Murphy.

On Thursday, Murphy smacked a game-tying home run in the ninth inning off Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, sending the game into extra innings and making Strasburg's frustrated owners sad. It was Murphy's fourth home run since Monday, and while it's still a small sample size of 58 at-bats, his .328 batting average is noteworthy. It's going to drop a lot soon, because it's tough to hit for average when you strike out a quarter of the time and don't draw walks, and a .482 mark in isolated power is just ridiculous, even though Murphy does have some pop.