Our beloved manager Dusty Baker makes his long-anticipated return to Wrigley Field tonight to face his old club, the Cubs (or, as my son calls them, the “Stinky Cubbies”). Of course, former Red manager Lou Piniella will be managing the Cubs, so this is Bizarro World or something.

Baker is fortunate to be able to send Aaron Harang to the mound for his squad. The Cubs will counter with Ryan Dempster, who isn’t the most well-liked former Red, due to his putrid tenure with our favorite club. Let’s just call him Danny Graves Lite.

Discuss the game here. The Reds really need to get back on the winning track, especially against a club that is expected to be the best team in the division.

About The Author

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

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189 Responses

  1. Matt B.

    Reds:
    Patterson cf
    Keppinger ss
    Griffey rf
    Phillips 2b
    Dunn of
    Encarnacion 3b
    Votto 1b
    Bako c
    Harang p

    Off to read about the Great Depression for school. What a wonderful read prior to a Reds game…. ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Jared

    There’s a show about Jackie Robinson on ESPN Classic right now and they are talking about how you’re seeing less and less black baseball players. They’re attributing it to MLB’s failure to market itself to urban audiences.

    Baseball has been on a decline for a long time, period. MLB is getting it wrong where the NFL is getting it all right. The excessive broadcast blackouts sure are turning me off.

  3. Y-City Jim

    Is it MLB getting it wrong or is it youth baseball getting it wrong?

  4. Mr. Redlegs

    Right-o, Jim! MLB is pumping a lot of money and time into urban projects but it’s youth baseball, and particularly parents, who who are to blame not only for the low number of diverse young baseball players, but also in rapid declines in the sport’s interest across the board.

    Just like slow-pitch softball, which 10-15 years ago was enormous, now there’s a generation that never played baseball and softball participation is down something like 42 percent. The sport is old men and dying. With pro baseball, we’re quickly headed toward the day when the only fans are middle-aged white guys and the youngsters are watching dodge ball in HD.

  5. Y-City Jim

    No George Grande tonight!!

    Dusty’s aggressive Reds make three outs on five pitches. That sure isn’t the Dempster that pitched in Cincy!!

  6. Jared

    MLB is where the exposure is. I really wish something would happen to make it more popular though. All of the people I work with have their kids in soccer and not baseball.

    The good news is I’m finally watching my first game of the year! Blacked out on FSN Cincy, but not on FSN Chicago. Go figure. I (seem to) get tomorrow’s game, too, and Thursday I’ll be at Wrigley.

  7. Jared

    Soriano hurt catching Griffey’s pop up. Out for the game.

    Am I the only one who wants Piniella back?

  8. Jimmy James

    What did Soriano do? Looked very innocent.

  9. Jared

    He didn’t really look like he did anything. A goofy little hop when he caught the ball and then he was limping.

  10. Kenny

    I wish Piniella had never left. Then we wouldn’t have had to deal with Bob Boone and Ray Knight.

  11. Jared

    ..and I can’t help but think any other left fielder would have caught that ball.

  12. Jimmy James

    Yeah, but any other left fielder can’t hit 40+ homers.

  13. al

    this could be a shoot out with the wind blowing out as hard as it is. harang has to keep the ball down. way down.

    cubs gun has harang between 85 and 89 today

  14. Chad

    Mr. R is right about youth baseball. It’s dying a slow death in my area, just when my kids are getting old enough to play.

  15. Jimmy James

    That’s ugly, al. Hopefully it will be Dempster who takes the worst of it.

  16. Y-City Jim

    Front row Cubs chicks digging Votto. Show them the long ball tonight, Joey!!!

  17. Y-City Jim

    20 pitches by Harang in the first versus the five by Dumpster.

  18. Y-City Jim

    Phillips with his fourth BB of the year.

  19. Jared

    And 4 straight balls by Dempster in the 2nd, with Dunn up now.

  20. Jared

    That was a nice graphic. Dunn is 3-6 with 6 walks vs Dempster.

  21. Y-City Jim

    That’s some serious OBP numbers.

  22. Y-City Jim

    How would a bunt boost somebody’s confidence?

  23. Y-City Jim

    If he’s pulling his head then maybe he needs to put his jersey in his mouth.

    Alright, Eddie!!!

  24. Jared

    Dempster doesn’t look to have much composure tonight. His head is on a swivel looking back and forth between 2nd and home plate. He was looking at the plate for probably half a second before he threw that pitch. And it’s good guys 1-0.

  25. Y-City Jim

    Be nice to see some extra bases from Joey!!!

    Instead he looks bad on the off speed stuff.

  26. Y-City Jim

    Impatient hitting by Votto and Bako are letting Dumpster off the hook.

  27. al

    that was a nice shot by edwin, but how does dunn end up at second there. that had to be bad baserunning. this should have been a bigger inning.

  28. Jared

    It was just really slow base running. Dempster throw’s 20 in the 2nd, guess it’s Harang’s turn for a 5 pitch inning.

  29. Jimmy James

    Coming into tonight’s game, Corey Patterson’s OPS was down to 971. He sucks.

    ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Chris

    That last inning was a great example of how patience scores you runs.

    Joe Sheehan had a nice article today on Prospectus about the 8% thing. Essentially, he said “so what?” Sports, baseball specifically, is as meritocous (sp) as it gets, and Selig is doing a yeoman’s job of boosting baseball in the inner city – that’s as much as anyone can ask, and an academic or two who makes a living hand-wringing about a percentage number is missing the point. He said that the NCAA and scholarships, as much as anything a pro league can do, shape sports choices among poor youths.

    My take: The game is still wildly popular in Latin America and growing in Asia and even Eurpoe. MLB has record attendance and revenues. The fact that participation is down somewhat in one demographic group is not a real issue — not everybody has to love the same sports.

  31. al

    reds bats are going to have to wake up tonight.

  32. Jimmy James

    Crap, Harang. There goes the lead.

  33. Dave from Louisville

    Shit, Derosa’s vs. the Reds are ridiculous.

    Patterson is freaking money in center.

  34. Chris

    Doug’s pitch f/x site had a cool look at Patterson’s season so far – dude’s putting a bat on everything.

  35. Jimmy James

    Now Ryan Dempster gets a hit. I’m getting a bad feeling.

  36. Chris

    f**king Derosa. Illinois’ Bill Hall.

  37. Jimmy James

    He must be, Chris…his OBP is only .304.

  38. Chris

    He’s only struck out what – 2 times?

  39. Chris

    Patterson’s real first name is Donald.

  40. Jimmy James

    When Patterson’s SLG comes down, he’s in for a steep fall.

    If his OBP is as low as it is, with him hitting the ball as well as he probably can, I’m worried about what that number will look like when he comes back to earth.

    If he could somehow have a 750 OPS, and Baker were batting him 7th, he’s a more than acceptable CF. If his OBP drops below .300, he is a disastrous leadoff hitter.

  41. Jimmy James

    WGN just said Patterson has a .336 OBP, but that’s different from baseball-reference.com’s numbers.

  42. Chris

    FSN Ohio has the most RIDICULOUS graphics and stat usage of all time. Once again, they’re breaking down “HR by spot in the batting order: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9.”

    If people want to criticize statistics, they should talk about nonsense like that.

  43. Chris

    The Reds need to drop the drop-shadows from their uniform fonts. Like immediately.

  44. Jared

    Griffey almost needed Bartman to save him on the foul before the homerun!

  45. Jimmy James

    Junior goes deep! Reds have the lead again!

  46. Jimmy James

    Anyone know where you can get real-time updated stats? ESPN.com claims theirs are, but they’re not.

  47. Jared

    They need a font that isn’t ugly. EE with another RBI maybe? No.

  48. Jared

    Between Harang and Dempster, that’s 87 pitches through 2.5. Yeesh.

  49. Jimmy James

    Jared– how many of those has Harang thrown?

  50. DevilsAdvocate

    WORD WORD WORD on the drop-shadows for the uniform names. Only way to make that serif font worse was to add the shadows. Ugh.

  51. Jared

    OH MAN! I’ll be there Thursday but Robbie Gould will be there Saturday. That would have been enough to make me wear my Robbie Gould jersey instead of a Reds shirt.

  52. Chris

    This is the first time I’ve watched the new MLB.com gamecast, with the pitch f/x data. That’s incredible.

  53. Chris

    That AB against Aramis was just SICK.

  54. Chad

    Once they get all the kinks worked out on the new GameDay, it’ll be great.

  55. Y-City Jim

    Another injured Cub outfielder.

  56. Jared

    The Cubs outfielders are patting 5, 6 and 8. Can’t say I’ve ever seen that before. At least one of the teams tonight knows where their CF should be.

  57. Chris

    Did Dumpster always throw so many changeups?

  58. Chris

    Chris Welsh has been talking about where batters’ feet step all season.

  59. Chris

    I think Chris is a good guy and the best color man (by far) working the Reds games. But he’s not at all strong when discussing hitting mechanics or a hitter’s mindset.

    Keppinger is going to set a record for hitting balls up the middle.

  60. al

    is it too much to ask to see kepps lead off? i guess so

  61. Chris

    Now I understand what Chad meant by bugs in Gameday.

  62. al

    i wonder if kepps is hitting them up the middle because that’s “where they ain’t” or because that’s where his swing goes and teams might start playing him there.

  63. Chris

    I think I read that he does that on purpose. I don’t think any team would set up a defense to stop that, but if they did, I suspect Kepp could adjust to it.

  64. Y-City Jim

    Whew! I was worried you meant Patterson in the one spot!

  65. Y-City Jim

    Did Patterson wimp out on that ball or just misjudge it?

  66. Jared

    I think it might have been at both. Before the replay it looked like it hit higher so I dont know. He just kind of stopped at the warning track.

  67. Chad

    I’m watching the game, but I’m also trying to finalize everything for a trip to Disney World (leaving on Thursday).

    We’re taking children ages 6 and 3. Any suggestions?

  68. Y-City Jim

    Suggestion for Disney:

    Rent one of those motorized wheelchairs.

  69. al

    harang having a bad night on a bad night to have a bad night.

  70. Y-City Jim

    If you staying at a Disney resort they sometimes have extended hours for those at the resorts.

  71. Chris

    You can’t go wrong down there for kids that age, Chad. I think the crowds should be pretty small. (We just got back from Key West last night, and it was busy, but far from crowded. Good weather this time of year, too.

    The FastPass thing worked really well at Disneyland.

  72. Jared

    Nationals are at Marlins this weekend if you want to watch the 2001 Reds.

  73. Y-City Jim

    Thom said the Marty once described Welsh as buff. Earlier in the night when I listened to radio on a trip to CVS, Marty and Brantley were talking about designer jeans and purses. Should we wonder about Marty?

    Not that there is anything wrong with that!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  74. Chad

    Yeah, we thought this would be a good time of year to go. Don’t expect crowds to be too bad.

    Definitely doing FastPass, so I’m glad to hear it works well. We’ve looked at the extended hours too, Jim, but our kids aren’t going to be able to stay up too late to take advantage of that (a couple of days have early openings, as well).

    It’s the first time at Disney for our kids, so we’re trying to do it right. Gonna be there five days+.

  75. Y-City Jim

    Animal Kingdom hands out all day fast pass badges pretty freely.

  76. Y-City Jim

    It will be magical to see the look on their faces. I remember taking our kids. Also taking my nephew. When we entered the park with him the first character he saw was Goofy. The look on his face was priceless. He walked out that night with a set of Goofy ears.

  77. Y-City Jim

    EE and Votto swinging the bats like Goofy this inning.

  78. Chris

    That “happiest place on earth” crap really is true.

  79. Y-City Jim

    So is there really anything to the Piazza rumors?

  80. Chris

    At least Votto is being “aggressive.”

  81. Chris

    Piazza would be the worst defensive player on the Reds. And yes, I’m including Dunn and Griffey in that.

  82. Chris

    But we could definitely use a RH bat. Mike would be great off the bench and as a spot starter – maybe even to spell Votto at 1st.

  83. Y-City Jim

    Chris, you might invest in ear plugs to drown out the freakin’ Disney music that is playing everywhere!!!

    I found the entry level employees who spoke limited English and had difficulty putting plastic lids on the meals quite entertaining. They will probably be Imagineers by this time next year.

  84. Chris

    I really like Mike Piazza as a player, and the one time I met him, he was a very nice guy – very thoughtful, grown up, and zero ego.

  85. Jared

    Harang able to make it through 6, which is good because he’s due up in the 7th.

  86. Y-City Jim

    I almost forgot that the Disney resorts make you paid for Internet. Their TV’s always turn on to a Disney channel and must have 20 different Disney channels!

  87. Jared

    And Dempster starts the 7th at 98 pitches. Bako gets a hit to bring up Hatteberg, who will almost definately tie it up.

  88. Chris

    Cubs only have 1 lefty in the bullpen? That’s a nice advantage for the Reddys.

  89. Chris

    My wife just asked if Hatteberg “was the drug guy.”

    When corrected: “I was close – it had an ‘H'”.

  90. Chris

    Thom is remarkably sensible tonight – making the good point that neither Hatte nor Votto are getting enough ABs to get into a groove.

  91. Jared

    Dumpster gone after a hit and a walk. I’m really surprised Piniella even let him go out there.

  92. Jared

    Bases loaded, no out after a bad decision to throw to 2nd on the bunt. A different kind of error than EE is used to.

    So the plan is to drink a whole lot of beer after the game Thursday. Anyone have any suggestions for bars around Wrigley?

  93. Y-City Jim

    Patience by Hatteberg. Maybe Patterson will do something.

  94. Chris

    Earlier, Welsh said that Kepp would be relaxed in the 7th, because he already had his 2 hits for the night. Let’s see if he knows his psychology.

  95. Jimmy James

    There’s one run back. Runners on the corners with one away now.

  96. Y-City Jim

    Speaking of the wisdom of wives, how come if you tell you wife that you are expecting a call in the next hour do they proceed to call someone and talk for a couple hours?

  97. Chris

    Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Grifeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyy

  98. Chad

    Disney makes you pay for internet, Jim? That’s absurd. How am I going to watch the Reds.

    Maybe I will just take my XM.

  99. Y-City Jim

    Jackie Robinson hits into the double play.

  100. Chris

    Murphy’s Bleachers beyond the LF foul pole is always a good choice.

  101. AnnapolisRed

    Great play against Keppinger then Griffey does exactly what you hope he doesn’t. This team is awful with runners on base.

    Jared-The Cubby Bear is a great place.

  102. Y-City Jim

    $10 bucks a day for Internet. In the All-Star Resort (aka the Disney Ghetto) it isn’t even wireless.

  103. Jared

    I hope they show a replay of that hit. It looked like Keppinger was running away from it. Show me I’m wrong, FSN.

  104. AnnapolisRed

    This interview with Misty May is mind numbing

  105. Y-City Jim

    How different might things have been the last eighteen years if Pinella had stayed?

  106. Jared

    No kidding. She isn’t interesting, she isn’t funny and she isn’t attractive. And the Reds are losing.

  107. AnnapolisRed

    Jarod Burton is the new Todd Coffey

  108. AnnapolisRed

    Jared-You are right on two out of three. She is kind of attractive ๐Ÿ™‚

  109. Chris

    What – Christian Slater wasn’t available?

    The worst of all is when the FSN Houston crew welcomes the girl from the promotions department in once a week, to shill the upcoming bobblehead and novelty helmet giveaways.

  110. Chris

    Patterson played that ball beautifully. For whatever that’s worth (very little, unfortunately).

  111. Chris

    Is Dick Pole still employed as pitching coach? I’m just saying.

  112. Y-City Jim

    It looked like Patterson ran to the wrong spot and got lucky that the ball rebounded to him.

  113. Scott

    Do you get the feeling that the sum is less than the parts with this team?

  114. Chad

    Ha! I saw a Christian Slater interview on a Dodger game two weeks ago. It’s was terrible.

  115. Y-City Jim

    When Dusty walked out it sounded like a game at GABP.

    ๐Ÿ˜€

  116. Ron

    There goes our bullpen imploading. Like people were saying, first two weeks of the season doesnt warrent improvement. And little by little they are returning to form.

  117. Y-City Jim

    I don’t know that you can denounce the bullpen based on a bad game at Wrigley with wind blowing out.

  118. Y-City Jim

    I guess we should consider the fact that we at least got some runs out of the bases loaded situations as a sign of improvement after the weekend disaster.

  119. Ron

    I guess we can blame Coffey’s melt down in Pittsburg on Wrigley too?

  120. Y-City Jim

    I’d rather blame it on Coffey.

  121. AnnapolisRed

    Marmal is nasty. Don’t know why he isn’t closing instead of Kerry Wood.

  122. Chris

    The Cubs are so much better off with Marmol throwing the big innings, rather than being shoe-horned into the stat-centric “closer” role. This stuff is just NASTY.

  123. Jared

    Just think of what Dunn could do if he was better at making contact. Or if he had Ricky Henderson’s strike zone.

  124. AnnapolisRed

    Meanwhile the Cardinals keep winning. Say what you want about LaRussa, but it seems like they always win.

  125. Chris

    Everyone’s going to bitch about Dunn going down looking (though not BP). But Marmol is just filty.

  126. AnnapolisRed

    Chris-Except I wouldn’t use him like that. I would have him pitch two innings to close it out. I do know what you mean though. Sometimes the biggest out comes in the sixth or the seventh inning and not the ninth.

  127. Chris

    That was just absurd. I agree with Thom – I don’t think the radar gun was doing Marmol justice. That was more than 93.

  128. AnnapolisRed

    Good morning, good afternoon and good night.

  129. AnnapolisRed

    Yeah, but we have Todd Coffey

  130. Marty the Cynic

    Todd Coffey should never pitch in the Major Leagues ever again.

  131. Jared

    I’m generally very optimistic watching games and I don’t give up on games down by 3 with an inning to go. But apparantly Dusty Baker does give up and runs Todd Coffey in to the game.

  132. Chris

    I have had it with Todd Coffey’s antics.

  133. Chris

    Somebody’s going to get hurt out there.

  134. hammer1

    Coffey can hold runners on first looking backwards because his neck is so limber from watching home run balls fly out.

  135. al

    when is todd coffey’s career going to be over? i don’t understand the good year he had anymore than anyone else, but it is clearly gone, the guy is just plain hittable.

    with reasonable options like bray, mcbeth, roenicke, when is it someone else’s turn to try? they can’t be any worse.

  136. Jared

    The only thing more amazing than how consistantly bad Coffey has been is the fact that he was ever a closer.

  137. Dave from Louisville

    Everyone vote on this question………
    Should Coffey be in AAA and Bailey pitching in relief for the Reds???

    I vote Yes

  138. Jared

    And now I’m getting him confused with Weathers. I don’t really feel like it was that big of a mistake though.

  139. hammer1

    I was wondering if the wind was blowing out only for the Cubs, but Votto answered that question.

  140. Chad

    Coffey, Weathers, same difference.

    And if you remember, when Coffey was good that one time, the Reds DID make him a closer for a week or two until he completely blew up.

  141. al

    that was a blast any day of the year in any park

  142. al

    reds trying to do anything they can to make this vaguely exciting. if coffey holds them at least we can make a run at it in the ninth. 5 runs is just so far to come back.

  143. Chris

    Lulu really pulled Wurtz?

    Burn your closer with a 4 run lead, after Marmol throws two innings? Thanks, Pinella.

  144. ChicagoRedsFan

    It used to be that Coffey’s problem centered on choking in pressure situations. Now, it no longer qualifies as choking because he always sucks. He’s yet another example of how spring training oftentimes doesn’t translate to the regular season.

  145. hammer1

    [170]. Thanks. I’m ‘watching’ the game on sportsline.com. Kinda hard to tell. ๐Ÿ™‚

  146. ChicagoRedsFan

    Majewski’s ERA is all the way down to 14.54. Great job, Gary!

  147. CeeKeR

    And when the offense finally does something the picture stinks…

    I know it’s early, but it’s getting discouraging.

  148. Chris

    I’ve quickly become as disinterested as I was last September. This is no fun.

  149. Jared

    This stupid song they’re singing is one of the most un-cool things I’ve ever seen in sports. No wonder kids don’t like baseball.

  150. Chris

    It was cool during the pennant race. Not so much in April.

  151. Dave from Louisville

    Lou gave us a gift by blowing his load with the bullpen. Only if we had a good pitcher tomorrow.

    Atleast Arroyo’s not pitching in the day game.

  152. Dave from Louisville

    It’s about time for some Voltron, With Fogg going against Big Z I am already pessimistic about tomorrow

  153. Kevin

    pessimism is the word, unfortunately. ๐Ÿ™ I’m headed to wrigley for tomorrow’s game and when I saw the pitching match up last weekend I was heart broken. Maybe Fogg can surprise, though. Good news is tomorrow’s my first baseball game as a 21 year old!