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July 18th, 2011 By Jason Gargano | Sports | Posted In: baseball

Drew Stubbs: Strikeout King

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I opened my New York Times Sports Sunday section yesterday to find an informational graphic on the bottom of page 3 called “Close-Up: Strikeout Kings.” (I was going to link to it, but The Times isn’t providing a version of it online — thus the crappy photo at right, which gets bigger if you click on it.)

The graphic featured a photo of Reds centerfielder Drew Stubbs sitting on the ground, a grimace overtaking his face after apparently being thrown out while trying to steal second base; a table of stats that included the offensive numbers of strikeout-prone hitters Stubbs, former Red Adam Dunn, Mark Reynolds, Ryan Howard and Jack Cust; and a paragraph across the bottom of the graphic entitled “One of These Players Is Not Like the Others.”

That “one,” of course, is Stubbs, an atypical strikeout artist in that he’s a fleet-footed base-stealer and frequent leadoff hitter who doesn’t produce nearly as many homeruns as the other strikeout kings mentioned in the graphic.

In fact, Stubbs is allegedly on pace to lead MLB in strikeouts this season with a projected 214, which brings me to the point of this post: If the Reds hitters — especially Stubbs (who’s hitting a pathetic .221 with one homerun and one RBI over the last month) and the even streakier Jay Bruce, but also the trio of leftfielders (Jonny Gomes, Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis) and Brandon Phillips — don’t start contributing in a more consistent manner, one can kiss the Reds chances of repeating as NL Central champions goodbye.

 
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