The Mets are playing out the string at this point, but at least they’re keeping things interesting. Matt Harvey limited the Reds to one run in 7 2/3 innings and struck out eight in the Mets’ 8-4 win on Thursday. He also had a two-run double off Homer Bailey in the contest. Frank Francisco put…
So, yeah, there seems to be a legitimate chance this is going to happen. But the Reds don’t need a leadoff hitter, and they certainly don’t need Juan Pierre. For starters, they have a perfectly good leadoff hitter, if only they’d use him there. Drew Stubbs strikes out a whole lot and has a disappointing…
The Reds beat the Rockies 7-2 on Sunday to extend their winning streak to 10 games. They’ve also won eleven of 13 games since losing their star hitter, Joey Votto, to an injury. They played this well as three batters stepped up to replace Joey’s production.
Brandon Phillips may be the best, with a .383/.412/.617 slash line since Votto went down. He played in all 13 games, driving in 12 runs as seven of his 18 hits went for extra bases. Ryan Ludwick owns a .342/.405/.763 line with four doubles and four home runs in 12 games. Drew Stubbs rounds out the trio with a .333/.400/.583 line, scoring 12 runs and driving in 13. Like Votto, they are hitting for average, getting on base, and hitting for power.
Offense can’t do it all, and the Reds rotation stepped up as well. They are 9-2 in the streak with a 3.35 ERA. They’ve only allowed seven home runs and 24 walks while striking out 65. They’re averaging 6 1/3 innings per start.
All of these number represent a very small sample size. If a small sample is going to help, however, the Reds players picked the right time to show their best.
Here’s a look at Ryan Ludwick’s grand slam in the 1st: atmlb.com/HUA4Oj
— Reds (@Reds) April 15, 2012
Bruce, Votto have faith bats will find life The Reds’ profound hitting skid to start the season has felt infinite to frustrated fans. For the hitters actually going through it, it hasn’t been fun either. But they have optimism that it will end.
Phillips returns to lineup for DC finale Following a five-game stretch out of the starting lineup because of a cramp in his left hamstring, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was back on Sunday vs. the Nationals.
Reds being cautious with ailing Cairo Reds utility infielder Miguel Cairo remained day to day Sunday with a strained left hamstring. Cairo was injured trying to score from second base in the second inning on Saturday vs. the Nationals.
— Reds (@Reds) April 15, 2012
Ryan Ludwick and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a $2.5 million, one-year contract Monday, according to a person with knowledge of the deal.
Foxsports.com and CBSSports.com were the first to report Cincinnati’s agreement with the free-agent outfielder.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday night because the deal was pending a physical and no announcement had been made by the team.
An All-Star in 2008 with St. Louis, the 33-year-old Ludwick was traded from San Diego to Pittsburgh at the July 31 deadline last season. He batted a combined .237 with 13 homers and 75 RBIs.
Ludwick could give the Reds the right-handed bat they’ve been seeking to complement lefty sluggers Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. He figures to see playing time in left field, a spot filled mostly by Chris Heisey down the stretch last season after Cincinnati traded Jonny Gomes to Washington in late July.
It’s the latest move in a busy offseason for the aggressive Reds, who had previously been focused on pitching. Cincinnati acquired starter Mat Latos and left-handed reliever Sean Marshall in separate trades before reaching an oral agreement on an $8.5 million, one-year contract with free-agent closer Ryan Madson.
Ludwick had a $6,775,000 salary last year.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Ryan Ludwick has gone on the 15-day disabled list with muscle spasms in the middle of his back.
Ludwick sat out Tuesday’s 11-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers then underwent an MRI on Wednesday morning, though the results were not immediately available.
Ludwick has hit .262 with one home run and seven RBIs in 21 games since the Pirates acquired him from the San Diego Padres in a trade July 31. He batted .238 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs in 101 games for San Diego.
The move opened a roster spot for left-hander Aaron Thompson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Indianapolis. Thompson made his major-league debut Wednesday when he started against Milwaukee.
Infielder Pedro Ciriaco had been told after Tuesday’s game that he would be optioned to Indianapolis after he had been recalled earlier in the day. But when it became apparent Ludwick would be going on the DL, the Pirates contacted Ciriaco at the Pittsburgh airport Wednesday morning before he got on a flight to Indianapolis and had him return to PNC Park in time for the afternoon game.
Copyright 2011 Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Clint Hurdle exhaled and enjoyed a quiet moment after finishing up his postgame duties with the press corps.
“It beats the heck out of losing,” the Pittsburgh Pirates skipper said with a smile.
His Pirates were winners again, for a night anyway. They pitched. They played solid defense. They produced the timely hits that had been missing during this skid.
And they did it against the defending World Series champions with a sellout crowd cheering against them.
Charlie Morton and Jose Veras combined on a six-hitter, Ryan Ludwick hit a pair of RBI singles and Pittsburgh snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 5-0 win over the slumping San Francisco Giants on Monday night.
“All in all, it was one of the better games we’ve had the last couple weeks,” Hurdle said. “It’s a good start. It’s all we could do tonight to go play a complete ballgame.”
Garrett Jones doubled among his four hits and scored twice to help back Morton (9-6), who improved to 6-2 on the road this season.
The Pirates battered Giants All-Star Ryan Vogelsong (9-2), who lost for the first time in 13 starts since May 26. His only other loss came the day after San Francisco lost its catcher and reigning NL rookie of the year Buster Posey to a season-ending broken leg on May 25.
The reigning champs are mired in their own funk of late, losing for the ninth time in 11 games with another night of missed chances on offense.
Still, San Francisco stayed a half-game ahead of Arizona in the NL West after the Diamondbacks lost 9-1 at home to Houston.
Morton pitched eight sharp innings and Veras finished Pittsburgh’s ninth shutout and sixth on the road.
“We were feeling a little pressure when you have a losing streak like that,” Morton said.
The Giants – held to two or fewer runs for the eighth time in 10 games – were blanked for the third time in nine games and 10th overall.
Nate Schierholtz hit a double and two singles for San Francisco playing in place of the injured Carlos Beltran, who had an MRI exam before the game that showed a strain in his right hand and wrist.
There weren’t many other highlights from the home team.
“It’s frustrating,” catcher Eli Whiteside said. “When you’re not scoring any runs, it’s tough on the pitching staff, too. Trying to throw a shutout every night is tough. It’s tough on the starters, it’s tough on the bullpen. We just have to relax.”
Vogelsong struck out cleanup hitter Derek Lee three times but Ludwick did damage in the No. 5 hole coming off two hitless games. Neil Walker added an RBI double batting third.
It sure was good timing for Pittsburgh, which exactly two weeks earlier won at Atlanta and sat in first place in the NL Central. Before Monday’s win, the Pirates had gone 1-12 since to fall into fourth in the division and 10 games behind the first-place Brewers.
The skid was the club’s longest since dropping 12 in a row from June 6-18 last year.
“It definitely feels good to get a win, and a win like this with Charlie getting a shutout against a good team, to turn things around,” Jones said. “We were in a little rut. You have to remember to just have fun and play our game. We did that.”
Vogelsong, the improbable All-Star and steady starter who replaced $126 million lefty Barry Zito in the rotation, had his career-best winning streak snapped at six straight decisions. He stayed put as the National League ERA leader – just barely. Vogelsong owns a 2.48 mark, while Phillies ace Roy Halladay lowered his ERA to 2.51 in an outing against the Dodgers.
Vogelsong was tagged for five runs on nine hits in five innings. He matched his season high with eight strikeouts, which he also did in his first start of the season – against the Pirates in Pittsburgh on April 28.
He didn’t get much help from the hitters. San Francisco squandered chances yet again, going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and grounding into inning-ending double plays in the fourth and fifth.
The Giants avoided a four-game sweep by the Phillies with a 3-1 win Sunday, but managed only three runs on 13 hits. They are batting .161 (20 for 124) over their last 18 games with runners in scoring position.
“It was pretty flat out there tonight. I don’t know why. When you don’t get a big hit to knock in a run occasionally, it makes it tougher,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “This has been going on for a while and we need to do something about. It’s not going to happen until we do come through with some clutch hitting.”
Giants ace Tim Lincecum reported no problems a day after Chase Utley’s flying bat hit him in the right knee.
“Just a little bruise,” the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner said.
© 2011 The Associated Press
Ryan Ludwick is the second San Diego Padres player to be traded in the final hours of the deadline. The buyers this time around – the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates, in search of offense, were looking to beef-up their lineup.
Full story at USA Today