SAN DIEGO -- In his last ten games, Padres left-fielder Ryan Ludwick is batting .436 with four home runs and 14 RBIs.
Ludwick has a hit in each of those games. It's his sixth hit-streak of ten or more games in his career and the longest since an 11-game streak from July 4 to July 18, 2009. Ludwick is out of the lineup for Sunday's contest with the Mariners, but only because Padres manager Bud Black wants to give him some rest.
The 32-year-old said he hasn't changed anything in his approach since the end of April, when he was batting just below .200. In his own words, the biggest difference has been comfort, although he is doing a few things better now.
"I've been seeing it just as good as day one, I just think my hands are working a little bit better and [I'm] hitting the way that I've hit over my entire career," Ludwick said. "For some reason, I don't know what it was, last year and the beginning of this year it just didn't click. And it's clicking now."
Ludwick hit .251 last season, but only hit 17 home runs and drove in 69 RBIs after averaging 29.5 homers and 105 RBIs in his previous two seasons with St. Louis.
"I know he's up there in the league leaders in May in RBIs and home runs, but from the technical side, he looks to be a little bit more aggressive from the time he steps in the batter's box, he's ready to hit," Black said. "I think the main thing now is that you're seeing him not expand the zone, swinging at strikes, taking balls."
Another big component in Ludwick's recent hitting is plain luck. Ludwick had a number of would-be-hit line drives taken away in the early parts of the season. Ludwick said his luck is beginning to turn around, and pointed out his hit two games ago that just fell short of the reach of Mariners left fielder Carlos Peguero.
"A lot of people don't see every at-bat, they just look at the scoreboard, so I think from a player's standpoint, we're more worried about how we feel," Ludwick said. "We try not to worry about the result, but what goes into the result."