Corey Patterson’s name was not on the Cincinnati Reds lineup sheet tonight - as many have begged for, pleaded for and prayed for.
Ryan Freel was in center field and batting leadoff, Patterson’s normal spots. But his 0 for 20 and 1 for 28 slide-for-life had nothing to do with his one-night stand in the dugout.
Baker was not aware of Patterson’s slump until a writer informed him Sunday.
“Really?” said Baker. “I did not know that. He hasn’t been striking out a lot so a long stretch of no hits is not as noticeable as when a guy piles up the strikeouts.”
Unless Freel hits for the cycle, drives in four, scores five and makes three stupendous catches, Patterson will soon return. Not Tuesday, though. The Reds face lefthanded Hong-Chih Kuo, so Freel or Norris Hopper will be in center. Or maybe Jerry Hairston, Jr.
But it looks as if Patterson will be back Wednesday and Thursday when the Reds face the Atlanta Braves and two righthanded pitchers.
So why did the righthanded Freel start against righthanded Penny Monday?
Baker goes to the stats for match-ups. The almighty matchups, no matter how small the sampling. But at least it’s something more than a stray shot into the air. For example, Freel is 6 for 14 against Penny and Patterson is 1 for 6.
That’s not all, though. Baker has stats that show that Penny is tougher on lefthanded hitters (.229) than he is on righthanded hitters (.286). “And Freel normally hits righthanders better than lefthanders.
Hey, he doesn’t have to convince me with numbers. I’m all for Freel or Hopper in center field. I’d prefer Hopper and his bunting bat, but it is only effective against lefthanded pitchers.
One never knows what Freel might do. All depends on what Farney tells him to do.Tweet