Test for Leake?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Reds Sunday lineup vs. Cubs

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

This will be the first time Mike Leake will be facing a team for the second time. Pitchers can often have success the first time around the league like Leake has had because he’s not as known. Now teams have a book and background information to take into the second time around.

The last time Leake faced the Cubs, in his big league debut on April 11, he allowed one earned runs and four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He did give up seven walks and struck out five. He’s since cut down on his walks.

Is it tougher for a rookie seeing a team the second time?

“It depends on what adjustments he makes to them and the adjustments that he sees they’re making to him. That’s the thing,” Reds manager Dusty Baker. “It could go both ways. No. 1, which he does very good, he reads swings. He’ll see if they’re trying to go to right field or taking pitches early or swinging early. They’ll show you their game plan pretty quick.”

Ramon Hernandez has worked well with Leake and he will be able to help with the adjustments as he also watches what the hitters are doing. It could be an interesting day and a nice test for Leake.

“That’s what Greg Maddux was so good at,” Baker said. “He would notice the difference in your stance, if you’re bent over, if you’re closed or if you’re open. That’s what he used to study in video. Everybody studies themselves, most of the time it’s bad or wrong and try to correct it — instead of studying the opposition. He’d notice all of those little differences.”

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