CHICAGO -- With temperatures in the mid-40s and Wrigley Field's patented wind in full force Friday, Reds manager Dusty Baker seemed pretty certain his team's series opener against the Cubs wouldn't be a high-scoring game.
"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."