CINCINNATI Dusty Baker was asked what he expects from pitcher Mike Leake when Leake scrapes his spikes on the pitchers rubber Saturday afternoon against the Washington Nationals.
A victory, said the Cincinnati Reds manager. Victories. Wins. Winning.
Then, with barely a pause for breath, Baker shook his head and said it isnt right for the paying public to assess Leake every time his turn pops up in the rotation.
It was Leake who was battling for his rotation life this spring against closer Aroldis Chapman, even though Baker was on Leakes side throughout the process, preferring to keep Leake in the rotation and Chapman as the closer.
Leake shouldnt be under any pressure because he isnt under any scrutiny from us every time he goes out there, said Baker. Thats not fair. All we know is that he is pitching against one of the best teams in our league.
Leake, though, was under pressure and scrutiny all spring while he and Chapman started games on the same day some in split-squad exhibiti...