SAN DIEGO -- Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is No. 2 in the lineup, but he's coming in first in more than a few offensive categories -- a tribute to his hot start to the season.
Phillips came into Tuesday tied for first in the National League in hits (16), multihit games and runs scored (12). He led outright in batting average vs. left-handed pitching. Overall, he was hitting .410 with one home run and five RBIs. He credits his success, in part, to manager Dusty Baker batting him second in the order.
"I just feel comfortable with where they have me in the lineup," Phillip said on Tuesday. "The top of the lineup is the best thing for me. I'm not a No. 4 hitter. When I used to hit first and second last year, I found out what type of player I can be and what I needed to work on in the offseason. I went out strong and it's paying off. I'm having a good time and we're winning. I'm doing the things that Dusty and Walt [Jocketty, GM] want me to do. My job is to get on base for the big guys and try to make those things happen."
Phillips' .455 on-base percentage is good indication that he's getting on base and creating opportunities for middle of the order hitters Joey Votto, Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes, among others.
In 2007, Phillips hit second a lot (or fourth) and had a 30-homer, 30-stolen-base season.
"I had a great year and a lot of people forgot about the things that I can do hitting second," Phillips said. "Right now, I'm just reminding people when I hit there, a lot of things like this happened."