The horrible cold, rainy weather didn’t have any negative affect on the the hometown Cubs during their opening day contest against the Colorado Rockies on Monday at Wrigley Field.
Ted Lilly took a no hitter through 6 2/3 innings before Garrett Atkins singled to left field to break up the no-no. After Lilly walked the next batter, Manger Lou Pinella took him out and the brave fans at Wrigley Field cheered him on to a standing ovation for his remarkable effort. Angel Guzman retired Brad Hawpe to end the threat and Aaron Heilman and Kevin Gregg took care of the rest. Although Heilman and Gregg each walked a batter in their scoreless innings of work, neither relief pitcher gave up a hit and Gregg struck out the side in the 9th inning to preserve the Cubs 4-0 win.
Cubs hitters did an excellent job of working counts again – racking up 9 hits and 9 walks. They never seemed to get the big hit, however, scoring their 1st run in the 2nd inning on a Koyie Hill bases loaded walk. The Cubs scored 2 more runs in the 4th inning on a Ryan Theriot ground out and a Derrek Lee single. Kosuke Fukodome’s single in the bottom of the 8th inning drove in Alfonso Soriano with an insurance run. Soriano, Lee and Hill each had 2 hits for the Cubs.
The 1-hitter marked Lilly’s 2nd 4-pitcher, 1-hitter in less than 8 months. He, Jeff Samardzija, Carlos Marmol and Bob Howry 1-hit the Houston Astros in Miller Park on September 15, 2008 – a day after Carlos Zambrano no-hit the Astros in the same ballpark. Lilly had this to say about the outing: “It’s definitely challenging when you’re trying to pitch in weather like this. I think, fortunately, it never got to where it was raining hard. When you can’t see and the hitter can’t see, then it’s really tough. I enjoy this weather, too. I understand the weather isn’t going to be perfect all the time. It makes it a little more fun when you have conditions like this, and it makes it a little more challenging.”
Wednesday’s forecast looks a little better for the Cubs and Rockies – sunny weather with temps in he mid 50’s – not great but for Cubs fans used to April and May weather, it couldn’t be any better. Let’s hope the Cubs can pull of the 2-game sweep over the Rockies and head into the big 4-game weekend series against the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals on a positive note…