Cubs don’t want Reds, Dusty Baker clinching here
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org September 17, 2012 9:24PM
REDS AT CUBS
The facts: 7:05, CSN+, 720-AM.
The pitchers: Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93 ERA) vs. Justin Germano (2-7, 6.24).
The rest of the series
Wednesday: 7:05 p.m., CSN, 720 AM. Mike Leake
(8-9, 4.69) vs. Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.06).
Thursday: 1:20 p.m., CSN, 720 AM. Johnny Cueto
(17-9, 2.92) vs. Jason Berken (0-1, 4.50).
Updated: October 19, 2012 6:21AM
The Cincinnati Reds arrive Tuesday for a three-game series, far ahead in the National League Central with a magic number to clinch the division at five.
Reds manager — and former Cubs manager — Dusty Baker might like nothing more than to have the party at Wrigley Field.
But the Cubs want no clinching parties here.
‘‘The word gets out, and no one wants anyone else to clinch on your turf,’’ manager Dale Sveum said.
That doesn’t mean the Cubs don’t respect what the Reds have accomplished.
‘‘They were a good offense without Joey Votto [injured the last time the Reds played the Cubs in August],and with him they’re even better,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘It’s the same kind of lineup we saw in Washington’’ against the NL East-leading Nationals.
The Cubs’ own magic number to avoid a 100-loss season was five entering Monday.
Former Cubs left-hander Sean Marshall — traded to Cincinnati in the offseason for pitcher Travis Wood, outfielder Dave Sappelt and minor-league infielder Ronald Torreyes — has been part of the Reds’ success.
Sveum believes the Cubs have also benefited from the deal.
‘‘Wood obviously has made a lot of adjustments,’’ Sveum said of the lefty, who has won his last two games after losing eight straight decisions. ‘‘And Sappelt is swinging the bat as well as anyone.’’
Sappelt has been with the major-league club since Sept. 1, when rosters expanded. He is hitting .310 in 11 games.
‘‘We knew there was a bat, but we need him to focus on defense,’’ Sveum said.
Sappelt will try to be part of the outfield mix for the Cubs next season.
‘‘He’s got the ability,’’ Sveum said.
The Cubs and Sveum have tried to keep to the code of being competitive in September as they play contending teams. But they are also playing with the motivation to avoid 100 losses.
‘‘Cincinnati has things pretty well wrapped up as far as getting into the playoffs, but we have [wild-card contender] St. Louis coming in,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘But it’s been these guys’ motivation to not lose 100.
‘‘And knocking people out of the playoffs, that’s where you get some fun in September.’’
The Cubs are moving their winter convention from the Hilton and Towers in the South Loop, where it has been held for 27 years, to the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers, 301 E. Water St. The convention is scheduled for Jan. 18-20, 2013.