The Reds face the Mets in the second game of the series. They remain tied with the Pirates for second place in the NL Central and the home field advantage for the Wild Card play-in game. Both teams are two games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates (Gerrit Cole) face the Chicago Cubs (Chris Rusin) and the Cardinals (Michael Wacha) face the Washington Nationals (Gio Gonzalez).
At GABP, the Mets are throwing left-hander* Jonathan Niese. Here is the Reds’ batting order:
Dusty Baker keeps Ryan Ludwick in the clean up spot, despite Ludwick’s line of .250/.302/.345. Ryan Ludwick ranks 13th on the team in ISO, which measures the power of one’s hitting. Ludwick ranks behind every single solitary position player in today’s lineup in that category. It’s not often that a team’s clean-up hitter hits with the least power in the entire lineup. Other Reds’ players with more ISO than Ludwick: Chris Heisey, Corky Miller and Greg Reynolds. Seriously. But I’ll be at the game cheering for you to hit a couple out tonight, Luddy.
Meanwhile, Devin Mesoraco, who is in tonight’s lineup, has been the Reds’ best hitter all year against lefties (*again, Niese is a lefty), producing a Votto-esque line of .333/.400/.507. It’s not often that a team’s best hitter bats eighth. Mesoraco, of course, is batting there because, you know. Hank Aaron.
/ repeat: line-ups don’t matter … line-ups don’t matter … /
After last night’s walk off win as I was heading back to my car, I heard at least four people say these exact words “We need to pay Choo whatever he asks.” And one of those voices was mine.
Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.