The Cubs Ted Lilly is looking forward to his All-Star appearance for the National League in St. Louis tonight. It is Lilly’s 2nd All-Star appearance – he last appeared as the lone representative for the Toronto Blue Jays back in 2004. Lilly has made 18 starts in 2009 and has compiled a nice 9-6 record with a sparkling 3.18 ERA. He has a 6-1 record with a 1.86 ERA at Wrigley Field this year. He is also riding a great wave right now – in his last 54 2/3 innings, he has struck out 49 batters while walking only 7 – pretty incredible numbers.
Lilly had this to say about representing the Cubs: “The whole objective is to try to do what I can to help us get into 1st place. I think when I look at my first half, it’s nice and it’s one of the better 1st halves I’ve had at least statistically. But you still know there’s a lot of pitching to do, and a lot of really important pitching coming up in the second half of the season, more so than the first half. It’s nice to get off to a good start but more important to finish strong. ”
Manager Lou Pinella had this to say about Lilly: “Being the All-Star representative from this team says it all. He’s been our best pitcher.”
Lilly has been one of the Cubs most consistent pitchers during the last 3 seasons and has been one of GM Jim Hendry’s best signings. He played in the tough-hitting AL East (Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays) for 6 out of 8 years from 2000-2006, so facing tough lineups day in and day out really prepared Lilly for his MLB career. He has made 34 starts in each of his 1st 2 seasons with the Cubs and is on pace to hit at least that in 2009. In 2007, Lilly pitched 207 innings and went 15-8 with a 3.83 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. In 2008, Lilly pitched 204 2/3 innings and went 17-9 with a 4.09 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. IN 2009, he has already pitched 119 innings and has lowered his ERA (3.18) and WHIP (1.11). He has 101 strikeouts on the season against just 24 walks and has clearly been “Mr. Dependable” for the Cubs in 2009.
Congrats Ted – go out and help the NL get home field advantage for the 2009 World Series at Wrigley Field in Chicago!