10/11/2003 8:26 PM ET
Notes: Baker scouting AL foes
Lofton sets NLCS record for consecutive hits
MIAMI -- Dusty Baker was watching the Boston-New York game Saturday and a little surprised at the fracas on the field involving Yankees coach Don Zimmer and Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez.
Martinez threw Zimmer to the ground during a bench-clearing melee in the American League Championship Series game.
"Guys were kidding me that that will happen to me when I'm 70 years old," Baker said. "Sometimes you're 70 in your body but you still think you're 40 in your mind and that's Zim. He was upset, I guess, about the series of events that happened. I hope he's not hurt."
Baker is watching the ALCS because the Chicago Cubs could play the winner if they can beat the Florida Marlins in the National League Championship Series. The Cubs entered Saturday's game with a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Cubs took two of three against the Yankees at Wrigley Field in an Interleague series in June. Would Baker prefer the Yankees or the Red Sox?
"It's harder to play a team you haven't played," Baker said. "But when you get there at that point, you don't care who you play. You're one of the last two standing.
"Most people probably would [like to see Boston-Chicago]. Two teams who haven't been there in a long time. Long time," he said. "Two teams that haven't won a world championship in a long time."
The Cubs haven't won since 1908. That is a long time.
Late shift: It seems Baker has narrowed his bullpen down to three pitchers, Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Remlinger and Joe Borowski. Borowski pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief Friday night and Remlinger picked up the save in the Cubs' extra-inning win.
"[Borowski] is my closer. Before he started closing, he was the everything man," Baker said. "You've got to go with your best in those situations until he can't go any more. This time of year, everyone narrows their bullpen down. I haven't lost confidence or faith in those other guys but [Farnsworth, Remlinger and Borowski] are throwing better."
Plus, Baker was considering the high stakes in the NLCS.
"If we don't win that game, we're down 2-1," Baker said. "It's the kind of situation where you worry about tomorrow tomorrow. During the year, you worry about today and tomorrow. But this time of year, there's only five more tomorrows. If things don't go right, there's only two or three."
Instant replay: Doug Glanville didn't make an immediate impact when he rejoined the Cubs on July 30. But he has stayed ready and waiting for his moment. It came Friday in Game 3 in the 11th inning when he hit a game-winning, pinch-hit RBI triple.
When Glanville was announced as the pinch-hitter, Florida manager Jack McKeon countered by pulling Michael Tejera and inserting Braden Looper. The Cubs still had left-handed hitting Troy O'Leary on the bench to face the righty Looper but Baker didn't want to waste a man, not with the game so close.
"All of us on the bench have been in situations where we were starters before," Glanville said. "We've been able to hit against righties, lefties and had some success. So I don't think it's risky to leave a righty in that situation especially when you have a lot of starting experience."
"We took a chance and Doug, he did some great hitting," Baker said. "I don't like to think about what would've happened afterward. I only think about what happened during."
Florida shortstop Mike Mordecai shifted toward second just as Glanville's ball darted through to left. Kenny Lofton, who was on first after a one-out single, was off and running on the play.
Was it a hit and run?
"I can't tell you that," Baker said, coyly.
So why stick with Glanville?
"Part of my thinking was that I know Doug can hit that fastball," Baker said. "I don't care if it's shot out of a bazooka. He can hit the fastball. And it worked for us."
"You know something's got to give," Glanville said. "You just don't know what."
"I try to put guys in situations where they're most likely to succeed," Baker said. "Everybody made a big deal out of right and left and all this stuff. If a guy can hit, he can hit. Generally speaking, it's easier for a righty to hit a righty than a lefty to hit lefties. There aren't too many lefties around."
Lofton never looked -- and never stopped.
"[Third-base coach] Wendell Kim waved me home and I just kept going," he said.
"I learned from my Dodger days that an experienced bench won us a lot of ballgames," Baker said. "And I've learned [being a bench player] is the hardest job to do. A young player with an 0-for-1, that's like 0-for-20. He may not sleep for a week until his next at-bat. The more experienced player, that 0-for-1 isn't going to bother him as much."
Single guy: Lofton has become a hitting machine. He set an NLCS record and tied the ALCS record with hits in six consecutive at-bats but his streak ended Friday when he popped up in the fourth inning. Lofton started another with a single in the 11th inning that led to the game-winning run when he scored on Glanville's hit.
The previous NL record was five, set by Philadelphia's Gary Matthews in 1983, San Francisco's Will Clark in 1989, Pittsburgh's Steve Buechele in 1991 and Atlanta's Javy Lopez in 1996.
Lofton also has three career triples in LCS play and needs one more to tie the career record of four held by Kansas City's George Brett.
Injury update: Infielder Tony Womack underwent ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow. Womack was not kept on the postseason roster because his elbow prevented him from hitting or throwing. Womack is not under contract with the Cubs for 2004.
Best wishes: Baker said he talked to Ron Santo on Friday. Santo, the WGN Radio color commentator and former Cubs third baseman, is home in Arizona, waiting to undergo surgery for bladder cancer. He flunked a stress test Friday and surgery has been postponed indefinitely, possibly as long as a month.
"He's in good spirits," Baker said. "You know Ron. He's always positive."
Red men: After Game 2 of the NLCS, Cubs backup catcher Josh Paul clipped a red ivy leaf from the Wrigley Field outfield wall. He planned on giving it to a friend and started talking to Glanville about whether anyone had played at Wrigley in front of red ivy.
A cult started. Paul put the leaf in his hat.
"It's kind of become a good-luck thing," Paul said. "It's not the leaf itself. It's the red ivy."
Facts and figures: Through Game 3, the Cubs have outscored their opponents 10-1 in the first inning this postseason and 7-0 in the NLCS. ... Friday's game lasted 4 hours, 16 minutes -- 13 minutes shy of tying the NLCS record for longest night extra-inning time of 4:29 set Oct. 9, 1988, in a 12-inning game between Los Angeles and New York.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com