Deep in the Heart of Texas

For those who have clamored to see Brandon Phillips bat second, you will be placated for one night, at least.

Reds lineup

Stubbs 8
Phillips 4
Votto 3
Rolen 5
Bruce 9
Cabrera 6
Gomes 7
Hanigan 2
Harang 1

*For some reason, Astros 1B Lance Berkman is known as “The Puma.” For good reason, he sharpens his claws when playing the Reds. Check out these lifetime stats vs. Cincinnati.

327 AVG, 48 HRs and 133 RBIs .444 OBP .699 SLG.

*I know you many of you have been pining to see Phillips bat second. But does this concern you about the top of the order tonight?

Drew Stubbs: team leading 21 strikeouts, .273 OBP
Brandon Phillips: 13 strikeouts, .296 OBP

*Orlando Cabrera, the usual No. 2 hitter, is the team leader with 13 RBIs but is batting .239 with a .267 OBP.

“He asked me how I felt hitting sixth,” Cabrera said of Baker. “I said ‘whatever you decide to do, I don’t care.’ It’s only for one reason – to see if it works, to do something different.”

This was Baker’s take on the lineup change:

“I’m just trying to figure out a way to get Brandon started and maybe hitting in front of Joey will help. Rolen has been good. They’ve been pitching around Joey lately, throwing him tough pitches. Cabrera has been real good in the clutch driving in runs.”

“I called them in and spoke to both of them about it. It’s all good.”

*The last time Phillips batted second for the Reds was April 21, 2008, vs. the Dodgers. He also did it April 20, 2008, vs. the Brewers but not at all in 2009.

*This season, right-handed hitters are batting .303 vs. Astros starter Bud Norris and lefties are hitting .167.

*The University of Michigan baseball team will retire Barry Larkin’s No. 16 jersey before a May 1 game vs. Ohio State. Larkin played at Michigan from 1983-85 and was a two-time All-American. He will be the sixth player to have his number retired by Michigan baseball.

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1 Comment

On BP batting second: yes, his career OBP and his slow start this year make that a strange decision. HOWEVER, in this case, I’m also happy to see him bat somewhere other than fourth. I think he tries to pull the ball too much when he thinks he’s “RBI guy.” When he’s hitting line drives to the opposite field he’s great.

Hanigan over Hernandez. Good.

What has happened to Chris Dickerson? He’s off to a slow start, but he’s still doing better than Drew Stubbs. And Jonny Gomes vs. RHP is no bargain, plus the bad defense.

When Dickerson plays LF, Stubbs can bat lower in the lineup. The one game he did that he had two hits.

We’re losing games because of poor hitting, poor pitching AND poor defense at C, SS and LF. We haven’t had a single game where we’ve tried the best defensive team, which would be Janish at SS, Hanigan at C and Dickerson in LF. I’d like to see that sometime.

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