04/20/12 2:37 PM ET
Baker familiar with fickle Wrigley weather
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
"This ain't no hitter's paradise today, trust me," Baker said with a laugh before the game.
Baker served as Cubs manager from 2003-06, so he's well aware of the early-season difficulties that come with playing at Wrigley. Baker said teams can't sit back and wait for home runs; instead, they have to focus on manufacturing them.
But with the field wet and slippery from morning drizzle, Baker said deciding how to go about doing that would be a challenge.
"You've got to play more small ball, [but] you're a little apprehensive to do a whole bunch of running with the conditions," Baker said. "The field's wet, slow track, legs are tight. The key is, try to do whatever you can to manufacture runs."
Pitching at Wrigley Field with such conditions also can be difficult. Baker said when he was at the Cubs' helm, he sought advice from Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, who won 95 career games at the park.
"He pitched here for so long and won 20 games [six] years in a row, and he told me, 'Don't change your game plan, pitch your game,'" Baker said. "And if anybody should know this park and how to pitch, it's Fergie."
Phillips rests as precaution in Chicago weather
CHICAGO -- One day after hitting his first home run of the season, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Cubs at Wrigley Field because of the weather.
Phillips was surprised when he came into the clubhouse and saw he wasn't starting, immediately going into manager Dusty Baker's office. Baker explained his decision was simply based on the weather, which had temperatures in the mid-40s, with cold and wet conditions.
"With this weather like it is and this wind blowing, that tightens your hamstrings up, big time," Baker said. "If you have one long inning, or with the wet conditions you slip on the infield or the wet grass or going back on the ball ... it's best for him."
Willie Harris started at second base in place of Phillips, batting seventh.
Phillips has admitted he's been playing at about 60 percent since returning to the lineup Sunday. He originally injured his hamstring on April 9 and missed five starts.
Baker said Phillips didn't tell him how he was feeling Friday, but he said the second baseman continues to get treatment. Phillips did say after Thursday's 6-3 win over the Cardinals that his leg "is feeling so much better."
"Sometimes as the manager, you've got to supersede whatever they say and do what you think is best for the ballclub," Baker said. "If it was any worse, he would say, but this is not a good day to be playing if something's wrong."
Marshall makes return to Wrigley as opponent
CHICAGO -- After six seasons as a Wrigley Field fan favorite, Reds reliever Sean Marshall made his first trip to the venerable ballpark as a visiting player on Friday.
Marshall, a key component of the Cubs' bullpen the last couple of years, was dealt to Cincinnati in the offseason for a package of prospects, including Travis Wood, Ronald Torreyes and Dave Sappelt.
One of the first things Marshall noticed was the cozier confines of Wrigley Field's visiting clubhouse, which is smaller than many high school locker rooms.
"It's definitely smaller over here," Marshall said. "First time I've been on the visiting side. It's still nice."
A roomier home park has been one of the perks of joining the Reds.
"Amenities-wise, it's a little different," Marshall said. "It's pretty nice to have a big locker room and a nice weight room. It's stuff I didn't get a chance to experience during my time over here."
After spending his first nine professional seasons with the Cubs organization, Marshall is still getting used to the change. It has helped that the Reds are guided by Dusty Baker, who was Marshall's first manager when he broke in with the Cubs.
"There are some coaches here that were here when I first [came up] and gave me a chance," Marshall said. "I'll always be grateful for that. Dusty has been good. As a player's manager, he treats his guys really good, just like he did here."
While Marshall picked up occasional save opportunities during his time in Chicago, he's taken over as the Reds' full-time closer in the wake of the season-ending injury to Ryan Madson. His numbers have remained strong in the role, as he's converted both of his save chances and posted a 2.08 ERA over 4 1/3 innings.
"Closing is good," Marshall said. "I've only had a couple of chances so far. It's been fun. It's the same game. I still have to make my pitches. There is a little bit more crowd energy, but I've always been comfortable whether or not how many people are watching."
-- Bradford Doolittle
Manager Dusty Baker said Ryan Ludwick likely would return to the starting lineup Saturday.
The Reds' next win will be the franchise's 10,000th. Senior clubhouse and equipment manager Bernie Stowe, who joined the club in 1947 as a clubhouse boy, has been around for 5,269 of them.
Cash Kruth is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @cashkruth. Bradford Doolittle is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.