This will be the first time back in the lead-off spot for Ryan since July 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ryan has obviously improved at the plate as the season has gone on, and this looks like a pretty calculated move by the skipper based upon Ryan’s past successes. Per BJ Rains of Fox Sports Midwest (via tweet, emphasis is mine):
Cards lineup: Ryan 6, Jay 8, Pujols 3, Holliday 7, Lopez 4, Feliz 5, Molina 2, Craig 9, Garcia 1……Ryan and Lopez good numbers vs. Zito.
Versus Zito: .462/.462/.538 – yeah, I’d say those are good numbers.
Additionally though, Ryan has had success in his very limited appearances leading off this season.
Leading off: .353/.353/.588 (only 18 plate appearances)
And while the numbers aren’t earth-shattering, he’s been more successful both versus left-handers this season and has better numbers than his career slash line while leading off versus lefties.
Versus lefties in 2010: .245/.310/.302
Batting lead-off versus left-handed pitchers, career: .274/.333/.347
Good move, Tony. Gosh, I better stop agreeing with what he does – I have a reputation to uphold!