CHICAGO -- Dusty Baker settled for another quality start out of Mike Leake on Thursday night, but he was pulling harder for a win in a 5-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Leake wound up taking a no-decision after allowing three earned runs over six innings, with Starlin Castro's clutch two-out, two-run double in the sixth negating his chance for a victory. Still, it was the right-hander's 12th quality start of the season, despite a 4-7 record.
"You'd like all your starters to get some victories, because that's what they're out there to get, not just for us, but for themselves too," Baker said. "You pitch well and you don't care about quality starts, you want a quality win ... or any win."
Leake hasn't picked up a victory since July 24 in Houston, and his ERA is 4.52, but Baker said you can't judge his performance solely on his numbers.
"He started out struggling big time, and then he went through a six- to eight-week period there where he was pitching great and just didn't get a lot of victories to show for it," Baker said. "Sometimes, if all you see is their won-loss record and it doesn't show how many runs they got in run support, it doesn't show anything. Then you look at the ERA, sometimes, and that's not a good indicator because you have one or two bad games and big-inning games and the ERA shoots up and you never get it down, or it takes a [a lot] of excellent work to get it down."
Still, Baker said he's tried to help Leake improve in the wins category whenever possible by leaving him in tied or close games, rather than having a quick hook. Leake is most concerned with pitching well overall.
"You always want to get a win, but [Thursday's outing] kept us in the game," he said. "Wins are second on the list. You'll have those games where you'll [get wins]."