Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Big League Stew

Ryan Ludwick makes acrobatic catches in left field

Big League Stew

It might not have been a textbook performance (particularly his twirling second catch), but outfielder Ryan Ludwick of the Cincinnati Reds put on an entertaining show in the sixth and seventh innings Saturday night. Ludwick, whose offensive revival this season after a sub-par 2011 helped the Reds stay ahead of the pack in the NL Central, made a pair of great catches in left field to keep the Giants off the bases in Game 1 of the NLDS:

In the sixth, he robbed Brandon Belt of a double, laying out full extension at medium depth and near the line after running from the warning track. To end the seventh, Ludwick — a left-handed thrower — turned the wrong way on a line drive by Marco Scutaro. But because he already was playing deep, Ludwick had time to quickly make a corrective turn, and grab the ball as he reached over his head. Otherwise, Pablo Sandoval would have batted with a runner in scoring position and Buster Posey on deck.

That's not how you'd teach the youngsters at home, and it's probably not how Ludwick learned to play the outfield. But when you show some athleticism and make an effective play with your glove, it can put you on the highlight reels and help your team win a playoff game.

As TBS broadcaster Brian Anderson put it, Ludwick is not known for his defense, and his UZR/150 rating — for whatever it's worth — has slipped the past two seasons. It has been Ludwick's offensive contribution, particularly in the second half — .309/.379/.581 with 14 homers for a 162 OPS+ — helping to lead the way, especially with Joey Votto sidelined and hampered because of knee problems. Ludwick went 0 for 3 with walk and two strikeouts in Game 1. But he also brought his glove.

Love baseball? Ready for the postseason?
Follow @AnswerDave, @bigleaguestew, @KevinKaduk on Twitter,
along with the BLS Facebook page!

Win cash prizes, pick a fantasy roster for just one day, join in minutes!

Learn how to play

Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
NFL $750K Baller 31027/85227 $10 $750000 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $1 Single Entry 50/50 [Top 2,500 Win] 2678/5000 $1 $4500 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
NFL $100K Tournament [$10K to 1st] 2250/4545 $25 $100000 Sunday 1:00 PM Enter
View Comments (2)