The Padres like that newly acquired Ryan Ludwick flogs right-handed pitching. Ludwick's performance against left-handers this year is another story -- a .215 batting average, a .289 on-base percentage and a .392 slugging percentage. If the trend continues, Bud Black could be confronted with a ticklish decision. Does he platoon Ludwick?
How would Ludwick respond if Black sat him twice a week? The veteran reportedly was displeased that his playing time was cut in St. Louis this year.
The Giants will provide a litmus test for Black and Ludwick. Three of Bruce Bochy's starting pitchers are left-handed, and nine games are left between the second-place Giants and first-place Padres. The Padres have six games left with the Dodgers, who now have a second lefty starter, Ted Lilly, to go with Clayton Kershaw. Lilly's artistic performance on Tuesday recalled Jonathon Niese's dominant outing against the Padres in New York two months ago. Similar styles.