All those numbers played a role in the firing of Dale Sveum, who went 127-197 in two seasons with Chicago. The Cubs are hoping Renteria can get young hitters Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro back on track while laying a foundation for a successful transition to the majors for the top prospects in a loaded farm system.
"We're moving in the right direction with our mentality and attitude," Renteria said. "It's a long season."
Renteria got a little taste of what it's like to manage the Cubs during their first series in Pittsburgh. They dropped each of the first two games in extra innings before holding on for a 3-2 victory Thursday afternoon, setting the stage for a home schedule that the Cubs are calling "the party of the century."
"It's a great old stadium and a real piece of history," Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney said. "I hope the Cubs can play there another 100 years."
Not everyone shares Barney's opinion of Wrigley, which is quite a different experience for the visiting team.
"I hate it," said Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who then rattled off a long list of complaints. "The clubhouse is small. It's a bandbox. The wind seems like it's always blowing out. It's cold. The dugout's small. There's no bullpen. You want me to keep going?"
Philadelphia also dropped two of three in its opening road series. It won 14-10 on opening day in Texas, and then managed just five runs in the last two games. Adrian Beltre had a game-ending RBI single for Texas on Tuesday, and Papelbon blew his first save opportunity in a 4-3 loss Wednesday.
Roberto Hernandez makes his first NL start for Philadelphia in the opener against the Cubs. The right-hander, who began his career in Cleveland and pitched for Tampa Bay last season, signed a $4.5 million, one-year contract in the offseason.