Brandon Phillips Thriving as Cincinnati Reds' Leadoff Hitter

By Cliff Eastham


In the 12 games since Brandon Phillips was switched to the leadoff position, he is putting up some phenomenal numbers. It also has catapulted him to a 12-game hitting streak.

After the Reds had lost seven of eight games on August 16, Phillips had a sit-down with manager Dusty Baker. He told Baker that he thought he could provide a boost to the team by moving to the one-hole in the batting order.

The Reds skipper was willing to try anything at that point so he appeased the All-Star second baseman. It has worked well for the team, they are 8-4 since the change.

Since August 17, Phillips is batting a wicked .442/.491/.596 with 23 hits, 10 runs and has 10 RBI. Is that just a coincidence? I don’t think so. Phillips now can do what he does best, try to get on base, steal bases and leave the RBI to the big guns.

His average for the season is now up to .299, up 16 points since taking over the leadoff spot. He has three 3-hit games and five 2-hit games during his term as the leadoff man.

Baker had tried several people at the top of the order this season including Dave Sappelt, Drew Sutton, Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis.

This is the first time Phillips has lead off for the Reds, but not his first attempt ever. Last season he started 72 games batting first.

The Reds dropped the first game of a 4-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 last night putting the skids on a 4-game win streak. It also marked the end of a 2-game losing streak for the Phils.

Tonight the Reds will throw Bronson Arroyo (8-10) at reigning Cy Young winner Roy Halladay (15-5).

Cliff Notes:

  • Homer Bailey pitched a great game Monday, especially if he could take a mulligan on the one pitch Shane Victorino deposited in the seats.
  • Cole Hamels didn’t look like a man just off the Disabled List.
  • Ryan Hanigan hit two singles raising his average to .275/.370/.375.
  • Yonder Alonso played his first game at 3B last night, no plays at all at 3B. He struck out in the bottom of the ninth with Jay Bruce on first and a chance to win the game.


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