Friday vs. Cardinals
Friday lineup vs STL
*For those who are curious, this is Albert Pujols’ split vs. the Reds this season:
.409/.519/.773 with two home runs, nine RBIs, five walks (incl. two intentional), five strikeouts.
A writer in St. Louis during the last series pointed out that Dusty Baker managed teams have intentionally walked Pujols 20 times over his career.
Question of the day: When is it OK for the Reds to pitch to Pujols this weekend (besides when there is no one on)?
*Asked about the importance of the series with the Cardinals, Baker did not play the ‘it’s early’ card.
“It’s never too early when you’re facing somebody in your division, especially a perennial-type foe that’s usually near the top somewhere. You figure it’s three less games you’re going to play them at some point in time whether you’re trying to pad the lead or cut the lead.
“This is a good test for us. It’s a good test for our young players to be in a pressure situation. It’s an invaluable learning experience to be in a pennant race.”
The Reds lead the NL with a .988 fielding percentage and come into Friday without an error in eight games. They haven’t gone at least nine games without an error since 1997. Of course, fielding percentage can be a little misleading because it’s only about balls gotten to.
Over the last seven days, the Reds lead the Majors with a .318 team average, ahead of the Twins .299 and the Phillies and Nationals — which were batting .298.
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