Tag Archive | "Ted Lilly"

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Ted Lilly Shines in Dodgers Debut – Dodgers 2, Padres 1 – 8/3/10 – Dodgers Stadium

Posted on 04 August 2010 by Lou

Congrats to Ted Lilly who tossed a gem in his 1st start with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Tuesday night’s 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres.  It was an unbelievable performance by Lilly who has not really had to pitch in any pressure situations in 2010.  The Dodgers trailed the Padres by 9 games heading into the game and they needed a “pick-me-up” from Lilly.  And boy did he deliver.  After a rocky 1st inning in which he gave up a 1-out home run to Miguel Tejada and then a blop single to Adrian Gonzalez, Lilly promptly retired the next 20 batters he faced.  He threw 6 perfect innings in a row from the 2nd through the 7th innings and needed only 87 pitches to do so.  He did not walk anyone and racked up 5 K’s.  Most impressive – during the 20 in a row streak, only 4 balls made it out of the infield – rare for a fly ball pitcher like Lilly.  65 of his 87 pitches were strikes – a whopping 75%.

The funny thing is, Lilly found himself in familiar ground as the Dodgers only scored 2 runs on a Russell Martin double in the 2nd inning.  Lilly suffered from lack of run support from the Cubs all season long, so despite his 3-8 record, he was still a hot commodity because of his 1.12 WHIP, his under 4.00 ERA and his veteran presence.

Good luck Ted – we hope the good times keep rolling for you in L.A. until we re-sign you this off-season.  I really hope Jim Hendry gives your agent a call at some point this winter…

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Bye Bye Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot — Hello Blake DeWitt, Carlos Zambrano

Posted on 02 August 2010 by Lou

The Cubs finally made the trade that had been talked about all week long — Ted Lilly & Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt and 2 pitching prospects.

Lilly had been solid for the Cubs all season long despite a 3-8 record.  As we discussed last week, he had a fine ERA (3.69) and WHIP (1.14), but got very little run support in his starts.

Theriot moved over from shortstop to 2nd base when the Cubs called up young superstar Starlin Castro.  He had a “down” year, hitting only .284 with 10 doubles.  Usually a player who found his way on-base a lot, his on-base percentage was a disappointing .320, his lowest number in 3 years (he has a career .350 on-base percentage).

DeWitt, one the other hand, had a .352 on-base percentage in 2010.  He was hitting .270 with 29 runs and 30 RBI’s mostly hitting in the bottom part of the lineup for the Dodgers.  At (almost) 25, DeWitt has age on his side as well.  Theriot is 30 years old and seems to have hit his peak with the Cubs.  DeWitt has a lot of upside and we could see DeWitt playing along side Castro for a lot of years as the Cubs double-play combination.  In his debut on Sunday in the Cubs 8-7 loss to the Rockies, DeWitt had 3 hits and an RBI.

Aside from the trade and a horrible sweep at the hands of the Rockies in Colorado over the weekend, the Cubs also “welcomed” Carlos Zambrano back into the clubhouse.  Big Z made a “sincere” apology to his teammates before Friday’s game.  He also pitched on Saturday and Sunday, although it wasn’t pretty.  He gave up a walk and a hit in 2/3 of an inning on Saturday.  On Sunday, after pitching a scoreless 4th inning despite 2 hits, he cracked in the 5th inning.  He walked the 1st 2 batters he faced and then gave up 2 more hits which scored 2 runs.  Not good.  Maybe the Cubs need to think about bringing him back into the rotation.  With Lilly gone and Carlos Silva, likely headed to the DL to address his heart rate issue, Big Z could get that chance sooner than we think…

Oh yeah, in the Dodgers trade, the Cubs also got 2 minor league pitchers.  Brett Wallach is the son of former MLB player Tim Wallach.  Wallach pitched at the Single A level this season, going 6-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 17 starts.  He struck out 92 batters in just over 84 innings pitched.  Kyle Smit appeared at the Single-A and Double-A level in 2010.  In 37 appearances, Smit racked up 6 saves with a 2.35 ERA.

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Lilly Agrees to Forego Remaining 2010 Salary in order to Facilitate Trade from Lowly Cubs — Cubs 1, Astros 6 – 7/27/10

Posted on 28 July 2010 by Lou

Begging clearly didn’t do the trick, so now Ted Lilly has had to take drastic measures.  He has agreed to forego the remaining amounts owed to him for his salary for the 2010 MLB schedule in order to convince a team to take him on for the final 2 months of the season.  Groveling on his knees to Cubs GM Jim Hendry didn’t do the trick last week, so Lilly hopes that pitching for free for the rest of the season will help a team decide to pull the trigger on the stellar lefty.  Lilly has grown increasingly frustrated with the lack of run support that he has received from his teammates in 2010. Last night was a perfect example.  Lilly pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing just 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 8 Astros hitters.  But when he left the game, the score was still 0-0.  You see, during that time, the Cubs had just 2 base runners against Bret Myers – a double by Tyler Colvin in the 4th inning and a Marlon Byrd walk in the 5th inning.  Yippee!!!

With another wasted outing from Lilly, the lefty is fed up with pitching well and having nothing to show for it.  With a 1.14 WHIP and a 3.69 ERA, it is shocking to see that Lilly has a 3-8 record.  Lilly has now allowed zero earned runs in 4 of his 18 starts and he has won only 2 of those games?!  In 5 of his starts where he has allowed 1 or 2 earned runs, he has a a 1-1 record with 2 no decisions.  Unbelievable.  I know you just have to chalk things up to bad luck sometimes, but this is a little ridiculous.  No wonder the guy is willing to do anything to get traded off of this sham of a team.

Talk about a futile offense at times.  Colvin ended up with 2 of the Cubs 4 hits, while fellow rookie Starling Castro had 1 and Byrd had the other. Colvin accounted for the Cubs lone run with a homer off Myers in the 9th inning.

Andrew Cashner’s streak of good luck finally ran out. After helping Lilly get out of a 2 on, 2 out jam in the 6th inning by striking out Chris Johnson, Cashner imploded in the 7th inning.  2’s were wild as he hit 2 batters, walked 2 batters and gave up 2 hits – with the big blow coming courtesy of a Lance Berkman Grand Slam to deep center.  The 6 runs allowed sealed the Cubs fate, but I like Manager Lou Pinella’s move to keep Cashner in the game after the Berkman bomb.  He showed some toughness once again by getting Chris Johnson to line out for the 3rd out of the inning.

It was another frustrating loss in a long, frustrating season for the Cubs in 2010.  Let’s hope Randy Wells can salvage the series finale on Wednesday.  It’s not looking good, however, as the Cubs trail the Astros 7-1 in the 8th inning.  Ouch…

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Breaking News — Ted Lilly Begs GM Jim Hendry to Trade Him – Cubs 3, Astros 4, 12 INN – 7/21/10

Posted on 22 July 2010 by Lou

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…

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Jim Hendry Continues to Find Ways to Turn Positives into Negatives – Please Trade Carlos Silva Now! – Cubs 5, Astros 11 – 7/19/10

Posted on 20 July 2010 by Lou

Forget about the 11-5 drubbing that the Astros handed the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday night.  The bigger question is this – why is GM Jim Hendry waiting so damn long to deal Carlos Silva and Ted Lilly?  Each Silva start that Hendry waits, the cheaper and cheaper Silva gets because he is coming back down to reality like we all knew he would.  Come on Jim – take action now!

Silva started the season 8-0 in his first 11 starts as a Cub.  His next 5 starts were still good and he looked like a prime candidate to be dealt sooner rather than later.  Even though his record in those 5 starts was only 1-2, he allowed just 2 ER in 4 of the starts and 3 ER in the other start.  Any team would take those numbers from their starter any day.  On July 6th, Silva still had a 9-2 record with an ERA of 2.96.  But take a look at his last 2 starts, and it looks like the “real Carlos Silva” has stood up.  In his final start before the All-Star Break, the Dodgers lit up Silva for 6 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks in 1 1/3 innings pitched (before he got tossed).  In his 1st start after the All-Star Break last night, the Astros lit him up for 5 ER on 7 hits and 2 walks in only 1 inning of work.  Not good at all.  Silva’s value has had to have taken a hit because of his last 2 starts.  When you throw in the fact that he is still owed $12.75 million in 2011 with a $2 million buyout for the 2010 season, the Cubs already expected to have to take a little of that on in order to make a deal work.  Now, dealing Silva could be in jeopardy.  Good job, Jim…

As for Ted Lilly, the guy is consistent and a bulldog out there.  It’s less important to deal Lilly, because he is a free agent at the end of 2010 and team’s might not be willing to part with prospects to rent someone like Lilly for just 11 guaranteed starts this season (with no guarantee of signing him next year).  But it would be great if the Cubs could move Lilly for a mid-level prospect or 2 and then have a handshake agreement with Lilly that the Cubs will make a strong push to sign Lilly back this off-season for another 2-3 year deal.  Lilly should be a hot commodity and I’m surprised Hendry hasn’t agreed to a deal to move Lilly yet.  Not sure what he is waiting for – like I said, the prospects that you can expect to get back for him will not be top-notch because he is a free agent at the end of the season – but you gotta think some team has made a pitch for him at this point.  Come on Jim – let’s do something here…

Aside from Silva’s disastrous start last night, you have to like some of the Cubs hitting of late:

Tyler Colvin – in the leadoff spot for a 3rd straight game, hit a solo home run in the 6th inning and drove in another run with a groundout.

Starlin Castro has been hitting better – batting average up to .288 – but went 0 for 4 hitting in the 2-hole for the 3rd straight game.

Derrek Lee had 3 hits and 2 runs scored.

Aramis Ramirez had 2 hits and 3 RBI’s with a home run.

Geovany Soto had 2 hits with a run scored and has his batting average back up to .291.

Look to see the same lineup for a while now – Colvin, Castro, Lee, Ramirez, Byrd, Soto/Soriano….

Let’s hope Ryan Dempster can get the Cubs back on track tonight against the Astros.  It would be his 9th win of the season…

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Successful Start to 2nd Half with Series Win Over Phillies @ Wrigley Field – Cubs 1, Phils 4 – 7/17/10 & Cubs 11, Phils 6 – 7/18/10

Posted on 19 July 2010 by Lou

While Saturday’s disastrous loss left a bitter taste in my mouth, you have to be pleased with the Cubs taking 3 of 4 games from the better Phillies squad this weekend at Wrigley Field.  The Cubs could really pack it in now that the season is all but over, but they played hard and they played well in the series against the Phillies.

The ageless Jamie Moyer has had some pretty incredible starts this season yet  the Cubs took it to him in the 12-6 series opening win on Thursday night. Ryan Dempster did what he needed to do to get the win.

Joe Blanton continues to baffle the Cubs – as he did in Friday afternoon’s pitching duel with Ted Lilly – but Aramis Ramirez propelled the Cubs to the 4-3 win with his game-winning home run in the 8th inning.  Carlos Marmol picked up a perfect 3-strikeout save in the 9th inning to preserve the 4-3 win.

It was another pitcher’s duel on Saturday as Randy Wells matched Cole Hamels pitch-for-pitch.  The Cubs took the 1-run lead in the bottom of the 7th inning on Ryan Theriot’s perfect suicide squeeze play that scored Starlin Castro.  Castro reached base on a double down the left field line and then made a “heads-up” play on groundball to the shortstop where Castro was able to get over to 3rd base with less than 2 outs.  Castro used his instincts to realize that since the ball was hit behind him, it was going to be a tough play to throw him out at 3rd base.  But then disaster struck in the 9th inning – Carlos Marmol walked 2 Phillies hitters but then managed to get 2 outs to give Cubs fans hope that they could get out of the jam for the 1-0 win.  But when Geovany Soto could not cleanly catch Tyler Colvin’s one hop throw to home that would have nailed Brian Schneider at the plate to end the game, the flood gates opened.  3 more walks and a wild pitch by Marmol led to a devastating 4-1 loss in front of the Wrigley Field faithful.  Just when you think that the 2010 Cubs have lost in just about every frustrating way possible, they go and lose another close game with bad play after bad play.

Fortunately, the Cubs managed to salvage game 4 of the series against Roy Halladay.  The Cubs capitalized on Halladay’s hitting Marlon Byrd twice – Geovany Soto drove him home with a homer in the 2nd inning and Alfonso Soriano drove him home with a  homer in the 6th inning.  The Cubs managed to get 6 runs on 7 hits off of Halladay and then 5 more runs on 5 hits and 1 walk off 2 relievers in the 7th inning that blew the game wide open.  Tom Gorzelanny wasn’t great – 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 5 walks in 6 2/3 innings – but he limited the damage and kept the Cubs in the game.

Kudos to Manager Lou Pinella for going with Tyler Colvin and Starlin castro 1-2 at the top of the order on both Saturday and Sunday.  Gotta give these kids chances and both responded in Sunday’s win – Colvin was 3 for 5 with 2 runs scored, while Castro was 3 for 4 with and RBI and 1 run scored.

Despite the positive weekend, the Cubs still trail the Cards by 9.5 games in the NL Central and the Reds and Rockies by 9 games in the NL Wild Card race.  But at least it looks like the team is going to fight all the way to the end.  And that’s all you can really ask for at this point in the season.

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Cubs Take 1st 2 Games v Phillies – Cubs 12, Phils 6 7/15/10 & Cubs 4, Phils 3 7/16/10

Posted on 16 July 2010 by Lou

Not the way I expected the Cubs’ 2nd half to start – with 2 wins over the Phillies at Wrigley Field.  But I guess we’ll take it.  Now the Cubs batters have to face Hamels and Halladay over the weekend – 2 guys “slightly better” than Moyer and Blanton.  Can Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny get the job done against the Phillies’ aces?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Thursday night – Ryan Dempster was pretty dominant –6 2/3 innings pitched – 2 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks with 9 K’s.  He lowered his WHIP to 1.20 and his ERA to 3.57.

Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto had home runs for the Cubs in the win.  Aramis Ramirez continued his hot hitting with 2 2-run doubles to help break open the game.

Ted Lilly sent a message to teams in need of starting pitching in the Cubs 4-3 win this afternoon.  Lilly tossed 7 great innings of 3-run ball, giving up just 4 hits (2 home runs) and 1 walk while striking out 10.  Lilly is good – let’s hope the Cubs can move him to a winner for the final few months of the season and then re-sign him to a 3-year deal in the off-season.  He is worth it.

Marlon Byrd had a 2-run home run and Aramis Ramirez – the red-hit A-Ram – won it in the 8th inning with his deep home run to left field off of Ryan Madsen.

Sweep Sweep Sweep!

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Cubs Open up 2nd Half Against Defending NL Champ Phillies @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 15 July 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs open up the 2nd half of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field.  The 1st half was a half to forget, as the Cubs struggled to an atrocious 39-50 record.  They trail the Reds by 9.5 games in the NL Central race and the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers by 10.5 Games in the NL Wild Card race.  So much for “Year One” for the Ricketts Family – the new owners of the Cubs.  It isn’t even halfway through summer yet and it might as well be “Year 2” already.

Ryan Dempster takes the hill in Thursday night’s opener.  He will square off against elder-statesman Jamie Moyer who has a respectable 1.08 WHIP in 2010.

The Cubs get to face the Phils’ 2 aces during the weekend series – Cole Hamels on Saturday going up against Randy Wells and Roy Halladay on Sunday night going up against Tom Gorzelanny.

While we know it won’t be a pretty 2nd half, let’s hope the team can find a way to play .500 ball for much of the final 2+ months of the season.

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Cubs Need to Move Ted Lilly & Carlos Silva Fast — Cubs 0, Dodgers 7 — Sunday 7/11/10

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Lou

The Chicago Cubs need to move Ted Lilly and Carlos Silva fast before teams see more outings like the ones they tossed over the weekend against the Dodgers in L.A.

Ted Lilly looked awful –the Dodgers offense lit him up for 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks in just 3 2/3 innings.  He served up 1 home run and has now given up 16 homers in just 97 innings in 2010.  Not good.  His WHIP looks solid still – 1.15, but his ERA has slowly crept over 4 at 4.08.  In his last 5 starts, he has allowed at least 5 ER in 3 of the games (in the other 2 games he allowed just 1 ER in each start)

Carlos Silva couldn’t even make it through 2 innings before he got tossed for arguing a bang-bang fielding play at 1st base.  He allowed a 3-run home run to James Loney in the 1st inning and ended up giving up 6 ER on 6 hits and 3 walks.  He had 2 K’s.  His WHIP (1.14) and ERA (3.45) still look great, so the time is now to move this “average” “out-of-shape” righty even if we have to agree to take some of his remaining 2011 salary on.

Come on GM Jim Hendry – you have screwed so many other things up in the last 3 years, let’s not screw this up.  There are plenty of teams that would love starting pitching for the 2nd half of the season.  Lilly has pitched for the Yankees before and now that they lost out on Cliff Lee, Lilly makes perfect sense in a Yankees uniform.  Silva could go to a few National League teams – the Mets, Phillies, Dodgers.  Come on big guy – let’s pull the trigger on these guys right now while the oven is hot…

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Cubs Bad Weekend in L.A. Continues — Cubs 7, Dodgers 9 Friday 7/9/10 & Cubs 7, Dodgers 3 Saturday 7/10/10

Posted on 11 July 2010 by Lou

On Friday night, the Cubs lost to the Dodgers 9-7.  Ted Lilly had one of his worst starts of the season — 3 2/3 innings, 7 hits, 7 runs (5 earned), 2 walks.  Although the Cubs racked up 11 hits and made it interesting in the end, they still lost.  Marlon Byrd stroked 4 hits and had 3 RBI’s.  Aramis Ramirez had 3 hits , 1 RBI and 2 runs scored and he is finally over the Mendoza line @ .204.

On Saturday afternoon on FOX, the Cubs bounced back with a 7-3 win behind a strong outing from Tom Gorzelanny.  Gorzelanny picked up his 4th win of the season, going 6 innings and giving up just 1 ER on 6 hits with 7 K’s.  He now has a 3.16 season ERA – not too shabby.  Geovany Soto paced the Cubs offense with 3 hits and 3 RBI’s.  Starlin Castro, Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee each had 2 hits in the win.

We’ll have more on Sunday’s loss on Monday, but it is not looking good – down 7-0 in the 8th inning.  Vincent Padilla no-hit the Cubs until Castro doubled to lead off the 6th inning.

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