08/20/11 9:52 PM ET
Phillips producing from leadoff spot
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Hanigan's shoulder healthy -- and it shows
PITTSBURGH -- Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan hasn't just gotten hot at the plate, he's gotten historically hot.
Hanigan was hitless in two plate appearances after entering a 5-3 loss to the Pirates on Saturday as a pinch-hitter, but coming into the day, he was 8-for-12 with three home runs and eight RBIs over his previous three games.According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last Reds player to have at least eight hits and eight runs batted in over three straight games -- all as a catcher -- was Johnny Bench in 1972. It's even more encouraging because Hanigan batted .227 with only one RBI in July. There was a reason behind that. On July 8 at Milwaukee, he suffered a sore left shoulder when Nyjer Morgan slammed into him to score during a nasty home-plate collision. "That collision really hurt his mobility in his shoulder, badly," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He's really been nursing that for a while. He was even close to maybe going on the DL 10 days ago, but he's getting better. This is what pros and tough guys do -- they find a way to adjust things to be able to play." Hanigan's overall batting average has increased from .244 to .265 with six home runs and 29 RBIs. He was 2-for-4 on Friday with a homer and three RBIs. On Thursday in Washington, he had a 4-for-4 game. And on Wednesday against the Padres, he had a two-homer, five-RBI game. "I've been getting treatment. It's been an issue, but I think some of the rehab stuff I've been doing lately is helping," Hanigan said on Saturday. "It's still sore. It stems from the collision. I've been managing it. My swing feels good, and things are loosening up a little bit."
Saturday marked the 200th Major League game of Reds left-hander Dontrelle Willis' Major League career. The outing against the Pirates was his 197th start. Francisco Cordero's save on Friday gave him 315 for his career and sole possession of 16th place on the all-time list, ahead of Robb Nen. Next on the list was Rick Aguilera, with 318 career saves.