Stubbs catching fire down stretch

Stubbs catching fire down stretch

CINCINNATI -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs has seen his production jump and plummet this season in trends more volatile than the fickle stock market. Right now, at the most important time of the season, the Reds are bullish on his numbers.

Stubbs, who hit a two-run homer (his 18th) in Wednesday's win over Arizona, is batting .389 (14-for-36) in his last 10 games and .316 (37-for-117) over his last 32 starts.

"I think regardless of how the season goes overall, what everybody remembers is how it's finished," Stubbs said Thursday morning. "I've had my ups and downs throughout the year. I'm taking these last couple of weeks and month of the season to key in and try to finish on a positive note. Hopefully, it will help us carry some momentum into the postseason."

As recently as early August, Stubbs' batting average had dipped to .228 amid speculation he might get sent down. But he's been dependable at driving in runs with 69 RBIs mostly from the seventh spot, and he has 25 steals. His speed had made his defensive range indispensable.

"I've had my struggles at different levels of the Minor Leagues here and there and in college," Stubbs said. "But this has definitely been the most trying year for me. Obviously, in the grand scheme of things, you're more under the microscope at this level. Going through it, it's made me stronger and I've learned a lot from it. It will ultimately help me become a better player."