Big deal. Dusty Baker is coming back to Chicago. Do I hate the guy? No. Do I think he was an overrated manager who blew a chance of the lifetime to get to the wrold series? Yes. Do I hold him responsible for Steve Stone leaving the Cubs?. Yes. Do I still think he held back the development of younger players like Ryan Theriot by playing guys like Neifi Perez? Yes. Do I think that he played the race card when things didn’t go his way? Yes. Do I believe that he made excuses for himself and his players and never held himself or anyone on the team accountable? Yes
Ok, I changed my mind. I do hate Dusty Baker. And now, Dusty and his new team, the Reds, are coming into town. Baseball if a funny game. The Reds took 2 out of 3 from the Brewers, in Milwaukee. Then, the Reds lose three in a row to Pittsburgh, who the Cubs swept the series before. Will the Reds be extra amped up to win one for their new skipper, especially with the negative reception Dusy will get? The Reds finally have a solid pitching staff, but now their bats have gone cold. Over the three game series in Pittsburgh, the Reds were 6-for-35 (.171) with runners in scoring position and stranded 32 runners on base. They did not hit any home runs.
The Cubs have their own problems, especially with starting pitching. Carlos Zambrano struggled in his last start, and our two lefties look awful. Ryan Dempser, who surprisingly has been the best of the Cubs pitchers so far, will take on Aaron Harang, the Reds ace, in game one of the series. Big Z will see if he can bounce back against struggling Reds’ starter Josh Fogg. In the last game of the series, Ted Lilly will look to solve his 08 woes against Edinson Volquez, one of the two dynamic young pitchers the Reds have starting. The other, Johnny Cueto, won’t be ptiching in the series.
The scary thing is that both Lou and Dusty are saying the same things. Both want to go with faster lineups to manufacture runs. After having most of the weekend off, Felx Pie will be back in the lineup. Ronnie Cendeno may get the start at second, but Mark DeRosa has an excellent career average against the Reds. Speaking of excellant career averages, the Reds hope that Adam Dunn will again kill the Cubs. Dunn has been struggling this season, going 6-for-36 with five RBIs overall this season with 10 strikeouts and only one home run. Dunn’s 20 homers, 43 runs and 43 walks at Wrigley Field since 2001 are the most by a Cubs opponent. Personally, I’d be happy if he keeps slumping.
The Brewers face off against the Cardinals, which means this is a great opportunity to gain some ground in the division. The Cubs need to get the bats going, and the pitchers need to avoid walks. Hopefully we can start playing better in all aspects of the game