CINCINNATI -- Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick is still getting his hits, but he's not piling up the home runs quite like he did in July and August.
Manager Dusty Baker senses that Ludwick is tiring some. He has not hit a homer since Aug. 18. Ludwick was given a pre-planned day off on Sunday, and Xavier Paul started in his place.
"You know it's needed when they don't argue with you," Baker said. "Or they respect your judgment and opinion."
In the 16 games since Aug. 18, Ludwick is batting .276 (16-for-58). Only one of his hits has been for extra bases, however.
"I think I've been a little bit tired at times," Ludwick said. "But who isn't tired at this stage of the game? I'm grinding. I think a lot of people worried because I heard a couple of comments, 'You're not hitting home runs.' Well, they come in bunches. It's tough when you're that locked in. I'm still getting my hits. ... I'm just not hitting home runs."
Overall, Ludwick entered Sunday batting .274 with 25 homers and 74 RBIs. He had 14 of his homers and 38 RBIs over July and August.
"When you start hitting home runs, everybody wants you to keep hitting home runs," Ludwick said. "I'm just trying to get on base and continue to help the team win. Hopefully, the home runs come in bunches again soon, going into the postseason."
Baker indicated that Todd Frazier will be getting a day off soon, too. Frazier has reached base safely in 30-straight games entering Sunday. But he was batting .208 (10-for-48) in his last 16 games, hadn't notched an RBI since Aug. 28, and hadn't homered since Aug. 21.
"He's played a lot, and I can see his bat slowing down a little bit," Baker said. "There will come a time, if Scotty [Rolen] is not here, I might put somebody else over there to give him some time off. They're starting to pitch him a little differently, too. Word gets around. They have meetings just like we have them."