SAN DIEGO -- Reds center fielder Drew Stubbs arrived in San Diego 0-for-the-West Coast as he faced pitchers from the Giants and Dodgers over seven-games.
The exact total is a career-worst 0-for-28 stretch with nine strikeouts for Stubbs, whose batting average has dropped to .214. On Thursday, Stubbs was given a day off, as the Reds opened a four-game series with the Padres, and it appeared welcomed.
"I think regroup is probably a good word to use," Stubbs said. "Obviously, I'm on quite a skid lately. I think when I was in San Francisco, leaving that series, I didn't get any hits, but I still felt like I was putting together some good at-bats and I felt pretty good at the plate. For whatever reason, the last couple of days in L.A., I felt lost a little bit. I don't know what caused it.
"Maybe it's just whenever you have a few games of 0-fers compound on you, you start to press and do some things you're not usually doing."
Stubbs doesn't believe the strained left oblique muscle that put him on the disabled list last month has affected him. In 10 games since returning, he is 3-for-34 (.088).
"I've felt good. I definitely can't blame anything that's happened with that," Stubbs said.
Reds manager Dusty Baker said he told Stubbs to clear his head and not do any pregame hitting on Thursday. Utility player Wilson Valdez started in Stubbs' place. The club will miss Stubbs' speed in the expansive Petco Park outfield, but it was a risk Baker was willing to take.
"But do I have to think today or think in the long run? He'll be back in there [Friday]," Baker said. "This game is so mental. Everybody sees the physical. As a witness, it's a very mental game, especially when you're doing something every day. You don't have a chance to clear yourself."
Baker was resistant to the notion that Stubbs should be moved down from the second spot in the lineup. He hit well there until he went on the disabled list
"He took off this year when I put him at second, for a while," Baker said. "You had hoped that during the course of the year, whoever I put in front of Joey [Votto] would take off pretty good. He's my one main speed threat. If you drop him down to seventh and he runs, they'll walk the catcher to get to the pitcher."