Some tidbits from the pregame session with Dusty Baker:
On giving Junior Griffey the day off: "I'm trying to keep him strong. We've had a lot of day games. He's going to play a lot on this road trip because of the teams we're playing. He hasn't seen Hamels much. It's a good day to rest him.
On resting Junior in general: "You don't need days off that much early. He might only get one off this month. Another month he might get three or four. It averages out. He's got some hop in his step. That means his legs are feeling good. If his legs are feeling good, his bat feels good."
On the lineup: "(Juan) Castro hadn't played yet. (Norris) Hopper hadn't started yet. (Cole) Hamels today is especially tough on big swingers. We tried to find more speed and defense."
On bench players: "That's hardest part about starting the season. In spring training these guys play almost everyday. Rarely do they go more than two days without playing. Then the season starts and for a week or so you don't play. You lose your stroke and your timing. Then all the sudden you call on them to do something and they don't feel ready -- and they're not ready."
On the schedule ahead: "This is a big road trip. It's all in the division. We're playing teams that play well at home."
Is a chance to make a statement? "I just look at chance to gain ground and not lose ground. You can make it up quick or you can lose it quick. I'm not concerned about making statements. I'm just trying to figure out a way for us to win games."
First base breakdown between Joey Votto and Scott Hatteberg: "It's more how Votto settles in. It's sort of synonymous with the way the Brewers when they had young Prince (Fielder) and (Lyle) Overbay. You know Votto's going to have more power and productivity, but, right now, Hatteberg is a better hitter."