4/23 Cubs post-game tidbits

Manager Mike Quade opened the post-game news conference Saturday with some actual news:

“I’ve got an announcement to make,” Quade said. “Kerry Wood’s week vacation is over. I will start him tomorrow ahead of Zambrano to get him some work. I said I was 90 percent sure I would pitch him today. When I got him up to pitch the ninth, I thought, man, I like him but I hope he doesn’t pitch.”

Wood has not pitched since April 15 in Colorado. And, just to be clear, Quade was joking about having him start. Carlos Zambrano will finish the series on Sunday.

* This wasn’t the type of welcome Ted Lilly wanted back at Wrigley Field.

“It’s especially disappointing given the fact our offense battled back from a deficit, took the lead and I wasn’t able today to get it done so we could go up 2-0 in the series,” Lilly said after the Cubs’ 10-8 come from behind win over the Dodgers on Satuday. “I wasn’t making quality pitches. I put us in a tough spot going to the bullpen early. I didn’t want to and [manager Don Mattingly] didn’t want to.

“I don’t know the conditions had anything to do with it,” he said. “I don’t know if I can really find any excuses. It’s just a matter of making the pitches when I had to. I felt my performance wasn’t good enough.”

* Rather than call on Tyler Colvin, Carlos Pena or Blake DeWitt, Quade stuck with Jeff Baker against right-hander Matt Guerrier in the eighth. Baker delivered the game-winning two-run double.

“We’ve got all sorts of left-handed people on the bench but he’s been in the game,” Quade said of Baker. “He’s had some good at-bats against right-handers this year. It’s a decision you make and you say, ‘The guy’s been doing a heck of a job for us and let’s give him a shot to win this thing’ and he did it.”

Baker began the day batting .464 in 19 at-bats vs. left-handers and .167 in 12 at-bats against right-handers.

“It’s always frustrating when you get labled,” Baker said. “You want to go out there and you want to play, whether it’s lefty, righty. I know I can hit them both ways.

“You keep battling and hopefully you get time against righties and instill a little more confidence in the managers and coaches and they let you do it,” he said.

* Starlin Castro matched his career high with four hits, his second four-hit game of the season. … The 1-2-3 hitters Saturday combined to go 9-for-15 with four runs, three stolen bases, two doubles and six RBIs. … Ryan Dempster now has an 11.30 ERA in his last six home starts, dating back to Aug. 31.

— Carrie Muskat


That was a gutsy call by Quade to leave Baker in. I’m really starting to like Quade’s style, he moves Castro to 3rd in the lineup, then moves him back no big deal, no drama. Quade seems to have an eye for what’s important and whatis not. Batting order is one of the most overated deals in baseball, not nearly as important as some think. I also like how he let’s Castro and Barney play everyday so they get better. If it was Lou he’d pull them after their first 0-4 game and mess up thier head.

I do like some of the things that Quade has done this year so far…but to call leaving Baker in a gutsy call when his options were the pathetic Hill, the pathetic DeWitt, the pathetic Pena and the slumping Colvin? Even myself a Colvin supporter (should still be starting over Fukodome if just to get him turn around for next season when Fukodome is gone) would choose Baker over the bench. What’s so gutsy about that? I give Quade more credit for STARTING Barker of Pena in the first place and I’m not a Baker fan but he certainly is the better option over Hendry’s 10 million dollar temp.

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