Note of the night/Stat of the day, May 17

Note of the night: When Ryan Ludwick had a little time to think about it, catch his breath, and see how he felt, he knew he was OK. Until a moment had passed, though, Ludwick had one reaction to being hit on the left hand by a pitch from Nationals rookie Drew Storen: fear.

“I think the intial reaction is just, kind of, scared,” Ludwick said. “I’ve been hit in this wrist before. I’ve broken that, had to have surgery, by a fastball that came up and in on me. I think any time anything is around the wrist or hands, the initial reaction when it hits you is somewhat of a panic.”
Fortunately, when Ludwick did take a moment, he realized the ball had hit him on the “meat” of his hand, rather than a place where he might be in jeopardy of a fracture. He stayed in the game and, of course, made a spectacular diving catch in right field in the next half-inning.
“A little bit of bruising in there,” he said. “Not a lot.”
Stats of the day: TLR talked up the possibility of Ludwick as a Gold Glover if he keeps playing the way he has. While it’s very unlikely that Ludwick will win a Gold Glove playing right field, the numbers indicate that the manager isn’t off as far as how Ludwick is playing.

UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) has Ludwick rated as +2.7 runs in right field so far in 2010, seventh among Major League right fielders. But John Dewan’s plus-minus system rates Ludwick as +9 (plus-minus rates by plays, not runs), which is tied with Ichiro Suzuki and Jay Bruce for the best in the Major Leagues.

As for another Cardinal whose defense gets discussed quite a bit… Skip Schumaker has a UZR of -0.9 on the year, which is to say that according to UZR he is right about one run below average defensively so far on the young season. According to the plus-minus rating, Schumaker is a +2 and has saved two runs.
Also per plus-minus, Schumaker has made a massive improvement on balls to his left. Last year, he was -16 to his left. This year, at just about the one-fourth mark, he’s -1 to his left.

(On all of those numbers, that’s entering today)
Fun with double situational splits: Ludwick is crushing right-handed pitching at home this year. He’s 21-for-51 (.412) with eight walks and 10 extra base hits for a .500 on-base percentage and a .706 slugging percentage.
And, finally, the playlist…
Tomorrow, you better believe it’ll be Stones-related, in honor of the Exile On Main Street re-release. Tonight, though, it’s a hat tip to the great “Darkwave” program that runs on Sunday nights on the Sirius/XM channel First Wave. Had it blasting for the last 3 hours of the drive home from Cincy last night. Here are five selections that got turned up especially loud:
Shriekback, “Nemesis”
Sisters of Mercy, “Lucretia My Reflection”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “April Skies”
Duran Duran, “New Religion”
Nine Inch Nails, “That’s What I Get”
-M.

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