Daily Archives: July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010

The Daily Brief: Baker Chides the Cubs

Last Game
The Reds began a 4-game series in Chicago against the Cubs and won in extras 3-2. Travis Wood was excellent in his first start, but Nick Masset was shaky and forced the team into extras. But in extras on the road, the Reds are undefeated. It’s like they like defying the odds or something.

Next Game
Bronson Arroyo takes the mound to keep the winning continuing. The Cubs send out former sucktastic Red Ryan Dempster. Game-time is 2:20pm EDT.

Baker’s Thoughts on Chicago
The Cincinnati Enquirer got some good quotes from Reds manager Dusty Baker about his time managing the Cubs. You know, the team he managed before the Reds that hasn’t won a world championship in 102 years (and counting).

“It’s tough, and the No. 1 reason it’s tough is because nobody lets anything go of the past,” Baker said. “Everybody’s still counting. I was here four out of the 100 years. You talk to most people, they act like I was here the whole 100 years. I’m only 61 years old.”

It’s a great quote, and gets to some of the dysfunction in Chicago. They are forever tied to that number, to that long history of missing it by that much.

Baker mentions how he focuses on the present and the future, which is good, but I think he does it too much, like the Cubs focus too much on the past. One should never be crippled by the past or regret, but it does have a handy way of providing lots of opportunities to learn. Given Baker’s teams continued lack of production at the top of the order, one might think that examining some past failures would be worthwhile. At least now Brandon Phillips is leading off. His Not Out Percentage of 37% certainly blows the 29% of Orlando Cabrera out of the water. Too bad Cabrera hits 2nd.

What to Say to Sound Smart at the Water Cooler
The Reds have now won their last 9 extra-inning road games. This dates back to June 2009 and includes 5 such games this year. This sets a new club record, breaking the previous high mark by the 1944-45 Reds. The longest such streak in Major League history was by the 1997-2000 New York Yankees, who won 14 in a row.

July 2, 2010

Reds 3, Cubs 2: Finishing it in Extras

Reds (45-35)10000001013160
Cubs (34-45)0000000200250
W: Smith (1-0) L: Howry (1-2) S: Cordero (22)


The Cincinnati Reds made it take longer than it should have, but eventually, they defeated the Chicago Cubs yesterday.

Travis Wood made his first professional start and pitched great. It helped, of course, that he was going against the Cubs, who have been terrible all year. Dusty Baker did make a questionable decision in leaving Wood in the game to start the 8th. Up to that point, though, Wood had breezed through 7 innings of shutout ball with a very low pitch count. Unfortunately, Wood was tired and walked the only 2 batters he faced.

The small, 2-run lead off of RBIs from Scott Rolen and Jonny Gomes, vanished quickly once reliever Nick Masset entered. Both inherited runners scored. Masset did shut down the Cubs for the rest of the inning, but he’s still got a ways to go to become the Masset we saw last year.

The bullpen was great from then on, with Jordan Smith getting the eventual win, and Francisco Cordero getting an almost uneventful save.

The Reds offense barely managed to retake the lead. They had opportunities in the 9th and the 10th, yet managed only 1 run, and that was thanks to Jay Bruce breaking up a double play and allowing the go-ahead run to score. 16 hits in a game is great; stranding 13 and scoring only 3 is not so great. Still, the team managed another win from their final at-bat. This team definitely has some confidence. Plus, they are in first place by 1.5 games thanks to a Cardinals loss. And that’s something that hasn’t happened this late in a season in a very long time.