It’s been confirmed – Ted Lilly got down on his knees and begged GM Jim Hendry to trade him, even if it was a trade to pitch in the minor leagues or Japan. Well, I’m not sure if that is even allowed – and now that I think about it a little more, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be allowed given the power of Baseball’s Players Union – but Lilly must be kicking himself for being stuck on this atrocious Cubs team. The Cubs wasted another great Lilly start — 7 1/3 innings pitched,7 hits 1 walk and 6 K’s. His only mistake was a solo home run to Pedro Feliz to lead off the 8th inning that knotted the game at 1 and potentially cost him a win. Lilly has a 1.12 WHIP and a 3.88 ERA, yet he has a 3-8 record and he hasn’t won since June 29th.
Meanwhile, the Cubs offense was simply a wreck. The had plenty of chances – racking up 12 hits and 7 walks – but scoring only 1 run through the game’s 1st 11 innings. Lilly even scored that lone run way back in the 5th inning after he singled and scored on Starlin Castro’s RBI double. But after that, it was one frustrating moment after another. Let’s take a quick look:
The Cubs had a runner on base in each of the 1st 2 innings, but never scored.
In the 4th inning, the Cubs wasted a 2 on, 2 out chance when Koyie Hill struck out to end the threat.
After scoring the lone run in the 5th inning, the Cubs failed to get a runner on base in the 6th and 7th innings. Then came the heartbreak.
In the 8th inning, after the Astros had tied the game at 1, Marlon Byrd stranded Aramis Ramirez on 2nd base with 2 outs.
In the 9th inning, the Cubs wasted a 1st and 3rd 1-out opportunity. Alfonso Soriano pinch-hit and popped out to shallow center field (not deep enough to score Kosuke Fukudome from 3rd base). Tyler Colvin then struck out to end the threat.
In the 10th inning, Starlin Castro led off with a double and after Derrek Lee lined out, the Cubs loaded the bases with walks to Aramis Ramirez and Marlon Byrd. But Fukudome struck out and Geovany Soto pinch-hit for Hill but flew out to left field to end the threat.
In the 11th inning, Ryan Theriot led off with a bunt single and moved to 2nd on Mike Fontenot’s sacrifice. Colvin walked, but Starlin Castro and Derrek Lee each flew out to end the threat.
After the Astros pushed across 3 2-out runs in the top of the 12th inning, the Cubs almost rallied back to tie the game with 2 outs. Soto’s 2-run home run cut the lead to 4-3, and then Theriot singled and Jeff Baker walked to set up another scoring chance. But Colvin lined out to right field to end the game.
WOW – talk about a team NEVER getting the clutch hit.
Gotta mention Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol and Andrew Cashner again – these guys combined for 2 2/3 scoreless innings to keep giving the Cubs chances to win. Too bad the offense couldn’t come through.
The Cubs welcome the red-hot Cardinals this weekend at Wrigley Field – this could be really ugly. The only good thing going for the Cubs is that they won’t have to face Adam Wainright or Jaime Garcia – 2 of their best starting pitchers…