Found September 20, 2012 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
The Cincinnati Reds have a chance to clinch a playoff berth Thursday, but they can hardly be blamed if their minds are elsewhere.
While manager Dusty Baker is expected to be released from the hospital, it's unlikely he will be with the Reds when they go for a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs.
Baker was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat Wednesday night and was expected to stay overnight in a Chicago hospital.
He underwent chest X-rays to "rule out pneumonia" and is expected to speak with reporters when the Reds return to Cincinnati after this series.
Head trainer Paul Lessard said Baker was having trouble breathing and has a history of having an irregular heartbeat. He hopes to return Friday, when they open a series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"He sounded good and they are just doing their due diligence, just running some tests," bench coach Chris Speier said. "He will be back shortly."
Cincinnati (90-59) tried to stay on task even without their manager Wednesday night, defeating Chicago 6-5 in 11 innings after failing to protect a 4-0 lead. Drew Stubbs singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th.
With the victory, the Reds lowered their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to one after the Dodgers split a doubleheader at Washington. Their magic number for a second NL Central title in three years is three.
"I am looking forward to it," second baseman Brandon Phillips said. "The only time I drink was 2010 (the last time the Reds won the NL Central), that was the first time I tasted alcohol, I'm kind of looking forward to that feeling again."
With a playoff berth all but certain, the Reds look to get Johnny Cueto (17-9, 2.92 ERA) back on track before the end of the regular season.
Cueto has lost his last three starts and has failed to make it out of the fifth inning in the last two, allowing a season high-tying six runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 innings of a 6-4 loss to Miami on Saturday.
"I can't explain it," Cueto said. "You have to take it easy. I feel good and have to keep moving forward. ... I felt fine. I was calm. You have to accept the good with the bad."
Despite his struggles, Cueto, who has an 8.22 ERA over his last three starts, has the chance to improve to 4-0 this season against Chicago. The right-hander has a 1.21 ERA in the previous three meetings with the Cubs (58-91), going eight innings in each of the last two.
Alfonso Soriano is 11 for 40 with four homers lifetime against Cueto and is 1 for 8 this year. He hit his 30th homer Wednesday, his most since 2007.
The Cubs, who have lost three straight, are 4-11 against the Reds this year.
Trying to avoid a sixth straight home loss to Cincinnati, Chicago hands the ball to Jason Berken (0-1, 4.50), who is making his second start for the club after being acquired off waivers from Baltimore.
Berken gave up six runs - two earned - and eight hits over four innings of a 7-6 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday in his NL debut.
"He was a victim of a couple of errors," manager Dale Sveum said. "It could have been a decent little outing, five innings. Could have gotten into the fifth only giving up two, but the errors cost him pitches and the ability to go five or six today."
BEST OF MAXIM
The Reds clinched a playoff berth yesterday when they swept the Cubs. Johnny Cueto broke his losing streak by pitching 6.0 innings and allowing 0 runs on 5 hits. He also walked 4, which isn’t very good, but I like the shut-out part.
Tonight the Reds return home to host the Dodgers. Bronson Arroyo (RHP, 12-8, 3.74 ERA) will take the mound against Joe Blanton...
Dusty Baker reached another milestone in his long major league career Tuesday night when he managed his 3,000th game, guiding the Cincinnati Reds against one of his former teams, the Chicago Cubs.
Baker began his managerial career in 1993 with the San Francisco Giants and led them to the World Series in his final season there in 2002. He took over the Cubs in 2003 and got them within...
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker left Wrigley Field in street clothes more than two hours before first pitch Wednesday night to get chest X-rays to ''rule out pneumonia,'' a Reds spokesperson said.
It is unclear whether he will be back in time to manage the game. Bench coach Chris Speier would manager in Baker's absence.
Cincinnati leads the NL Central by...
Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker spent his second night in a Chicago-area hospital after undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat. GM Walt Jocketty visited Baker on Thursday morning. He reported that Baker felt good, but doctors wanted to keep him overnight for observation. "We looked very good," said Jocketty after the Reds' 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker underwent another test Thursday and will remain hospitalized at least one more day so doctors can monitor his progress after he was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
If all goes well, Baker could return to Cincinnati on Friday, the team said.
General manager Walt Jocketty visited Baker in the hospital Thursday morning and reported...
The Reds opened the series in Chicago with a 3-1 win over the Cubs last night. Homer Bailey put in a nice performance for his 12th win of the season.
Ryan Hanigan was the offensive hero of the night with a bases-clearing double in the sixth inning to score all 3 of the Reds’ runs. The TV broadcast had Hanigan on after the game, and it’s impressive how articulate he...
Reds manager Dusty Baker remained in a Chicago-area hospital Friday night. The Reds played their third game without Baker, 63, who was hospitalized Wednesday with an irregular heartbeat. Bench coach Chris Speier managed again Friday in their 3-1, 10-inning loss to the Dodgers. "Bottom line, I'm worried," Speier said. "You have your good, good close friend that...
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Rookie shortstop Zack Cozart considered what it would be like to celebrate a division title without the manager who made it possible. It wouldn't be nearly so satisfying without Dusty Baker doing some dousing.
The Reds missed a third straight game on Friday because of problems caused by an irregular heartbeat. Doctors in Chicago advised him to spend one more...
The Cincinnati Reds became the first team to secure a playoff spot and a division title seems inevitable.
The Los Angeles Dodgers' chance of winning their division is bleak and they're running out of time in the wild-card race.
The Reds, who hope to have manager Dusty Baker back in the dugout, could have a shot at clinching the NL Central in Friday night's series opener...
The Reds clinched a playoff berth today by sweeping the Cubs at Wrigley Field today. They were the first MLB team to clinch, and the victory (accomplished by a mostly scab lineup and with Dusty Baker out of comission) was their 91st of the year.
Sometime in the next day or so, the Reds will clinch the NL Central division. And I’ll follow up with a longer post. Today should have...
Dusty Baker was missing when the Cincinnati Reds became the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff spot. The main man in the dugout was sidelined Thursday for a second straight game after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.
''Obviously we won the last two games for him. We have him in our thoughts, but we got good news on his update,'' reliever Sean...
Don't mess with Speier's Reds.
Cincinnati was once again without the ailing Dusty Baker, as bench coach Chris Speier filled in as manager. The Reds (91-59) were looking to sweep the Cubs (58-92) and decline their magic number again by winning their fourth game in a row, while getting ace Johnny Cueto back on track. What better way to do that then to back...
There were high expectations entering the 2012 season for Mat Latos. Most of those expectations were derived from the cost it took to acquire him. Many thought the Reds gave up too much for the right-hander when the team shipped four players (Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, Edinson Volquez, Brad Boxberger) for his services back in December. Others were concerned with how...
Drew Stubbs hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning Wednesday night and Cincinnati beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 hours after Reds manager Dusty Baker left the ballpark for chest X-rays.
A team spokesman said the tests were to ''rule out pneumonia.'' Bench coach Chris Speier brought the lineup card to home plate and there was no sign of the 63-year-old Baker during...
CHICAGO (AP) -- Dusty Baker and the Cincinnati Reds moved one step closer to the NL Central title on Tuesday night, thanks to another solid September start by Homer Bailey.
The right-hander pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Ryan Hanigan hit a three-run double to lead Cincinnati to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
"We had just enough offense to win," Baker...