Inside Pitch: Baker Inspired

Cubs manager Dusty Baker is not sure where he will be managing in the next couple of years, but he has plans to get back to postseason action as soon a possible.

After qualifying for the playoffs three times in a four-year period from 2000-2003, he will not be seeing postseason action for a third straight year.

Baker's fate as Cubs manager will be decided shortly after the conclusion of this season.

"It inspires you to get back to the postseason," Baker said of sitting out three straight years. "You think about what you will do when you get to the postseason next time, and next time, and the next time. One thing for sure, it won't be too much longer (until) I'll return to the postseason."

REPLAY: Cubs pitcher Juan Mateo had three no-hit innings in the books when he left the game with tightness in his back. Carlos Marmol took over and gave up three walks and four runs in the fourth inning and the Cubs suffered a 4-0 loss to Cincinnati Friday at Wrigley Field.

After Marmol's disastrous appearance, relievers Jae Kuk Ryu, Les Walrond and David Aardsma threw five scoreless innings and struck out nine batters.


  • RHP Juan Mateo joined the long list of walking wounded after he left Friday's game against Cincinnati with a tight back. He is listed as day-to-day.

  • RHP Carlos Zambrano threw a bullpen session on Friday and hopes to start on Sunday. The Cubs are waiting for clearance from their doctors before he pitches again. If he doesn't go on Sunday, he will likely pitch on Monday or Tuesday.

  • IF Ryan Theriot sat out a start on Friday with a lacerated right middle finger. He suffered the injury fielding a ball in the ninth inning of Thursday's game.

  • 1B John Mabry spent 11 hours getting his left wrist tested on Thursday and after X-rays, an MRI and a CT-Scan, it was determined the wrist was sprained and he will be day-to-day.

  • 1B Derrek Lee was not available on Friday because he was tending to a personal matter.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 6 -- Errors made in a Sept. 12 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was the first time the Cubs made that many since a six-miscue performance against Philadelphia on June 14, 1982. They won that game as well.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm working on getting a bullet-proof cup right now. I'm not getting behind the plate until I get one of those. And they make them." -- Cubs catcher Michael Barrett on possibly returning this season after he suffered a serious groin injury on Sept. 2 when he was hit in that area with a foul ball.


    RHP Carlos Zambrano (back pain) left the game Sept. 4 in the second inning. He threw a bullpen session Sept. 12, and could start Sept. 17. RHP Juan Mateo left the Sept. 15 game with soreness in his back.

    IF Ryan Theriot missed the Sept. 15 game with a lacerated right middle finger.

    1B John Mabry (sprained wrist) missed games on Sept. 14 and 15. He is day-to-day.

    LHP Glendon Rusch (blood clot in lung) was declared out for the season on Sept. 13.

    C Michael Barrett (intrascrotal hematoma) went on the disabled list Sept. 3, a day after he was hit in the groin by a foul tip and underwent surgery. He hopes to return for the final week of the season.

    SS Cesar Izturis (right hamstring), who had been out since Aug. 22, was activated from the disabled list on Sept. 11.

    RHP Mark Prior (right shoulder tendinitis) went on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 11. He threw off flat ground Sept. 12, and he still hopes to return before the season ends.

    RHP Kerry Wood (shoulder and knee surgery) went on the disabled list retroactive to June 7. His season ended July 7 when an MRI showed a partial tear in his rotator cuff. He has opted not to have surgery, and he hopes to be ready for spring training.

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