Tag Archive | "Ted Lilly"

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Cubs Blow Perfect Opportunity to Pick up Ground on Reds & Cards – Cubs 2, Dodgers 3 – 7/8/10

Posted on 09 July 2010 by Lou

The Cubs blew a perfect opportunity to pick up ground on the Reds & Cards, but lost to the Dodgers 3-2.  Instead of moving up to “just” 9.5 games behind the Reds and 6.5 games, behind the Cards (who had both lost already), the Cubs stayed put in the standings.  This game – like so many others – have summed up how frustrating a year it has been for the club and Cubs fans alike.

Cubs starter pitches a great 6 or 7 innings, but because of a “weak” bullpen, Manager Lou Pinella opts to keep him in a batter or 2 too long.  Wells had dominated the Dodgers for 6 innings, giving up just 4 hits and 1 run.  He gave up a lead off single to Russell Martin and while Pinella might have mad a move then with a deeper staff, he had to let Wells finish it out.  Wells did get the next 2 batters out, but Rafael Furcal hit a 2-run home run that gave the Dodgers the 3-2 lead.  It was only Furcal’s 6th homer of the season.  And as so often has happened this season, a close Cubs lead of 1 or 2 runs turned into another frustrating nightmare as the opposition rallied for a late run or 2.

The Cubs were stymied for most of the night by Clay Kershaw, but they got 7 hits off of him.  They scored on an Alfonso Soriano solo home run and a Geovany Soto RBI single, but that was it.  In a game that the Cubs knew would be close, the 3rd inning was particularly frustrating.  With 1 out, Ryan Theriot singled to right field, but then got picked off of 1st base by Kershaw.  The man at the plate – Marlon Byrd – then singled, but his aggressive base-running forced him to get thrown out at 2nd base.  So even though the Cubs got 2 hits in the inning, they didn’t really threaten because of their base-running mistakes.  With a team like this that is struggling to score runs (and that has typically struggled to score runs in Los Angeles), you cannot make those mistakes and expect to win.

As I wrote yesterday, the Cubs really needed to win 3 of 4 against the Dodgers to finish off a 6-1 road trip before the All-Star Break.  That means they now need to win the final 3 games of this series – which is not going to happen.  Let’s just hope that Ted Lilly and Carlos Silva both pitch well to help increase their trade value over the next few weeks….

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Most Painful Year Ever — It’s Almost As If the Cubs Organization is Playing a Cruel Joke on Cubs Fans – Ricketts Family Must Clean House – Cubs 3, Pirates 1 6/29/10 & Cubs 0, Pirates 2 6/30/10

Posted on 30 June 2010 by Lou

Hah, hah, hah!!!  I cannot stop laughing.  I was planning on writing a positive article on how Alfonso Soriano has really surprised me this season with a solid 2010 effort.  But after today’s awful showing, I had to adapt my focus.

After dropping a 2-0 embarrassing loss to the Pirates today at Wrigley Field, the Cubs have now lost 9 of 11 games played against the NL’s worst team.  The Cubs payroll is over $140 million.  The Pirates payroll is just over $38 million.  What a joke?

THE RICKETTS FAMILY NEEDS TO FIRE GM JIM HENDRY NOW!

Today’s 2-0 loss summed up the Cubs pathetic season once again.  Pirates starter Brad Lincoln (25 years old) threw 7 scoreless innings and he allowed only 6 Cubs to reach base – 4 hits, 1 walk and 1 HBP.  It was his 1st career major league win in 5 starts – he had let up 16 ER in his previous 4 starts with a 1.54 WHIP and 6.00 ERA.  You just have to love these stats.

I’m not really sure that the Cubs could meet a minor league team right now.  They are playing that bad and they are playing that tight.  The presumption that they are going to lose each and every game is clearly contagious and only a total cleansing of the organization is going to fix this giant mess created by Jim Hendry & Co.

Tom Gorzelanny threw 5 scoreless innings in his 1st start back since taking Carlos Zambrano’s spot in the rotation.  Brian Schlitter threw 2 scoreless innings to keep the game tied at 0.  But then Andrew Cashner suffered his 3rd straight loss in as many appearances because of an Aramis Ramirez error that set up a 1-out game-winning rally for the Pirates in the top of the 8th inning.  It is so comical.

Ted Lilly pitched another great game last night — 7 innings, 1 ER on 6 hits and 1 walk (now an ERA of 3.12 and WHIP of 1.06 but only a 3-6 record).  But if not for Alfonso Soriano’s 2 solo home runs, we might be talking about a Pirates sweep of the 3-game series at Wrigley this week.

This team has really hit rock bottom.  It’s time for Hendry to move several players – Carlos Silva, Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly and Carlos Zambrano.  It’s time to get some quality young stars into this organization.  And once that is all said and done, it’s time for the Ricketts to show Hendry the door before the season is over so that they can get a legitimate general manager to run the show…

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Cubs Petition MLB to Forfeit Opening Games of Series for Rest of 2010 MLB Schedule?! — Cubs 3, Mariners 2, 13 INN – 6/24/10

Posted on 25 June 2010 by Lou

In an unprecedented move, the Cubs have petitioned MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to be able to forfeit all of their series openers for the rest of the 2010 MLB schedule.  The infallible Elias Sports Bureau (confirmed by our crack staff of researchers all things bizarre) has confirmed that no other major league baseball team in the modern baseball era has made such a petition before.

The reason behind the request is simple.  The Cubs have not won an opening game of a series since they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 back on May 25th.  Since then, the Cubs have lost the series opener of 8 straight series and it looks like they are doing their best to make that 9 in a row (they trail the White Sox 6-0 in the 7th inning of today’s Crosstown Classic on the south side).  During that stretch, the Cubs have gone just 9-14 and they have fallen out of contention in both the NL Central race (they trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 8 games) and the NL Wild Card race (they trail the New York Mets by 9 games).  GM Jim Hendry and Manager Lou Pinella figure that since the Cubs can’t win the opening game of any series anyway, they may as well forfeit the game to give their players some extra rest during the dog days of summer.  Then they can focus their attention on winning the final 2 games of 3-game series in an effort to actually win more games during the final 3 months of the season.  They’ll be able to watch more tape of opposing pitchers and hitters, and they’ll have more time to work with the coaching staff on hitting, pitching and fielding.  Pinella has also hinted that the Cubs will play a lot more simulated games on the “forfeit” days in an attempt to keep the players “fresh”.

I must say that this is an interesting move for the north siders.  All the tweaking of batting orders and bullpen moves hasn’t really paid off, so this may be the next best thing.  I really hope Selig gives the Cubs a fair shot at being able to forfeit these games.  It could go a long for this struggling Cubs squad – wouldn’t it be great if this is all it takes for the Cubs to get back on track.  It could set a new trend for teams all across the country.

Oh yeah – by the way – the Cubs hung tough against the Mariners in the series finale on Thursday afternoon in Seattle.  Ted Lilly (6 INN, 1 ER on 5 hits and no walks, with 6 K’s) got another tough luck no decision as the Cubs didn’t give him any support at all.  The Cubs managed just 6 hits against Felix Hernandez and 4 Mariners’ relievers.  Derrek Lee had 2 of the hits but is still just hitting .233 for the season.  Mike Fontenot didn’t have a hit but he drove in the Cubs first run with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning.  Chad Tracy drove in the Cubs 2nd run with an RBI single in the 7th inning that gave the Cubs a short-lived 2-1 lead.  Marlon Byrd drove in the game-winning run in the top of the 13th inning with his only hit of the game.

On a “down” note, Andrew Cashner gave up his 1st run in 8 major league starts, blowing the 2-1 lead in the process. It was also his 1st major league blown save.

As for today’s game, we’ll have more on this later, but Carlos Zambrano served up 4 easy runs for the White Sox in the 1st inning (RBI double by Alex Rios and 3-run HR by Carlos Quentin) and then promptly started yelling at Derrek Lee in the dugout after the end of the inning.  It’s not exactly clear what Big Z was pissed off about, but he clearly still has a lot of anger issues to deal with.  Add Big Z’s name to the list of Cubs that will be traded before the July 31 trading deadline.  The only problem with moving Zambrano is working out how much of the $18+ million owed to him over each of the next 2 years the Cubs will have to eat in order to get some team to take him.  Good job Jim!!!

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Saturday Massacre @ Wrigley Field — Weaver Angels Destroy Lilly, Cubs 12-0

Posted on 20 June 2010 by Lou

What a joke – things keep getting worse and worse on the north side.  The Cubs fell to the Angels 12-0 on Saturday afternoon.  It looked like none of the Cubs players even cared anymore.  This is really really frustrating.

Lilly – after tossing 8-no-hit scoreless innings last Sunday against the White Sox – could do no right against the Angels.  He ended up giving up 8 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits and 3 walks over 5 1/3 innings.

Meanwhile, Jered Weaver shut down the Cubs with ease.  He racked up 11 K’s in 7 innings and allowed just 2 hits.  Marlon Byrd and Mike Fontenot were the only 2 Cubs hitters to reach base during the laugher.

Carlos Zambrano looks to help the Cubs avoid the sweep today on Father’s Day – don’t hold your breathe Cubs fans…

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Rough Start This Afternoon for Cubs @ Wrigley – Lilly, Cubs Down 4-0 after 1st Inning

Posted on 19 June 2010 by Lou

The Cubs were hoping that Ted Lilly would be able to come close to duplicating his 8 no-hit scoreless innings from last Sunday against the White Sox.  Instead, Lilly didn’t even make it past the 1st batter before Howie Kendrick crushed a home run off Lilly to deep right field for the 1st hit and run of the game.  That seemed to throw Lilly off his game – he gave up back-to-back singles to Kevin Frandsen and Bobby Abreu.  Lilly got Torii Hunter on a K, but then he walked Mike Napoli to load the bases.  And then Juan Rivera made him pay with a bases-clearing double that gave the Angels a 4-0 lead.  Not good.

The Cubs went quietly in the 1st inning against Jered Weaver with 2 groundouts and a strikeout. Even worse.

Can we just end the season now?!

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Too Little, too Late as Cubs Drop Frustrating Opener 7-6 to Angels at Wrigley Field

Posted on 18 June 2010 by Lou

It was another frustrating loss for the Cubs at Wrigley today – 7-6 to the Angels.  After winning 2 straight games over the A’s, the Cubs hoped to keep the momentum going against another AL West team.  But it wasn’t meant to be as Scott Kazmir shut the Cubs down through 6 innings, allowing just 2 ER on 5 hits and 3 walks.  The Cubs had their chances as they do in just about every game, but they could never come through with the big hit to break open an inning.  The Cubs defense also failed their relief pitchers in the 7th and 8th innings.  Jeff Baker’s 2 errors set up all 3 unearned runs off of Bob Howry in the 7th inning.  That turned a 3-2 Angels lead into a 6-2 Angels lead.  Then Derrek Lee’s throwing error in the 8th inning allowed Torri Hunter to score all the way from 2nd base to give the Angels a 7-2 lead.  Not good at all.

The Cubs made it interesting in the 9th inning.  Despite the 5-run deficit, Ryan Theriot and Chad Tracy coaxed walks to set up Tyler Colvin’s 3-run bomb out onto Sheffield.  Francisco Rodney retired the next 2 batters, but Derrek Lee stroked his 2nd home run of the game to deep left field to cut the Angels lead to 7-6.  But Rodney was able to get Geovany Soto out on a ground ball to 3rd base and the Cubs had lost at the Friendly Confines again.

Carlos Silva pitched so-so but came out of the game because of an undisclosed injury.  Silva allowed 3 ER on 6 hits over 6 innings of work.  He did not walk a batter and struck out 4 Angels’ hitters.  Silva has now dropped 2 in a row after winning his 1st 8 decisions as a Cub.

Ted Lilly looks to get the Cubs back in the win column Saturday afternoon against Jered Weaver.  Lilly has pitched very well all season long – 2.90 ERA and 1.00 WHIP – but he has been a tough-luck started getting very little run support.  He finally got his 2nd win of the season last Sunday against the White Sox, ending a 5-game losing streak.  He tossed 8 no-hit innings before getting removed in the top of the 9th inning after giving up a lead-off single to Juan Pierre.  Lilly hopes to throw a few more no-hit innings on Saturday against the Angels…

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Cubs Lose 5th Straight Series — Quickly Falling Out of Contention…

Posted on 14 June 2010 by Lou

Although the Cubs avoided the sweep with Sunday night’s 1-0 win over the White Sox, the team dropped their 5th straight series over the weekend.  The Cubs have now lost 2 of 3 games in each of their last 5 series and are heading in the wrong direction.  The Cubs are now 28-35 (just 15-15 at home) and they trail the Reds by 7.5 games and the Cards by 6 games in the NL Central race.

Sunday night’s game pretty much summed up the Cubs entire season thus far – mostly good starting pitching; awful hitting; and awful bullpen work.

Ted Lilly pitched 8 no-hit innings, giving up just 1 walk along the way.  You would think it would be a fun affair for the Cubs players and fans, but it was so tense because the Cubs themselves were being no-hit by Gavin Floyd of the White Sox through6 innings.  The Cubs eventually got their first hit with 2 outs in the 7th inning – a double by Alfonso Soriano – and Chad Tracy followed that up with an RBI single on the very next pitch to put the Cubs ahead 1-0.  But at the end of the day, the Cubs offense managed just 3 total hits in the ball game.

When Lilly served up pinch-hitter Juan Pierre’s single to center field to lead off the 9th inning, Manager Lou Pinella immediately turned to Closer Carlos Marmol to end the threat and preserve the 1-run lead.  But that almost backfired in a hurry.  Marmol quickly walked Andruw Jones and then balked Pierre and Jones over to 2nd and 3rd with nobody out.  Disaster again for the Cubs in the late innings.  But Marmol buckled down – he struck out Alexei Ramirez and then intentionally walked Alex Rios to load the bases and set up a force play.  Paul Konerko obliged by hitting a weak grounder that forced Pierre out at home.  Marmol then got Carlos Quentin to pop out to shallow center field and the Cubs fans at Wrigley Field let out a collective sigh of relief.

Ted Lilly has gotta be the game’s most tough-luck pitcher this year.  After his 8 scoreless innings last night, Lilly has now has a 2-5 record in 10 starts with a 1.00 WHIP and a 2.90 ERA – hello trade bait?!

But back to the Cubs offense.  The Cubs hitters made the White Sox starters look like all-stars in all 3 games over the weekend.   In Friday’s 10-5 loss, Jake Peavy had 4 wins and a 5.90 ERA coming into the game and he held the Cubs to just 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings.  In Saturday’s 2-1 loss, Mark Buerhle had 3 wins and a 5.40 ERA coming into the game (no road wins) and he held the Cubs to just 0 runs on 8 hits through 6 2/3 innings.  And on Sunday night, Floyd had 2 wins and a 6.18 ERA coming into the game and he held the Cubs to just 1 run on 3 hits in 8 innings.  Unbelievable.

Well enough of my ranting and raving.  This team is not good and just to give you a little preview of what’s to come, get ready for my post about the Top 10 reasons why the Ricketts Family should “blow up” the “Hendry Monster Misfits” sooner rather than later…

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Lilly Shines, Marmol Fails in 3-2 9th Inning Loss to Brewers in Milwaukee

Posted on 09 June 2010 by Lou

It wasn’t meant to be for Ted Lilly.  Although he didn’t take the loss, he didn’t get the win either.  Lilly tossed 8 innings of 1-run ball, scattering 4 hits and zero walks with 8 K’s in the process.  His lone mistake – a solo home run to Corey Hart that tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the 8th inning.  The Cubs rallied to take the lead in the 9th inning on an Alfonso Soriano groundout, putting Lilly in position to earn the W and break his 5-game skid.  But then Carlos Marmol blew his 3rd save of the year.  A hits batsman followed by an intentional walk to Prince Fielder set up former Cubs Casey McGahee’s 2-run game-winning walk-off single that gave the Brewers the 3-2 win.

Lilly was the tough-luck recipient once again of poor offensive production from the Cubs hitters.  Despite 8 hits and 3 walks, the Cubs managed just lone runs in the 8th and 9th innings.  Not good.  Kosuke Fukudome, Tyler Colvin and Starling Castro each had 2 hits in the loss.  But it was Lilly’s stat line that stands out the most – he has a 1.09 WHIP and 3.28 ERA, but is only 1-5 on the season.  Let’s hope Lilly stays focused – pretty soon he will get the run support and that should mean several wins for Lilly and the Cubs.

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Cubs Fun Fact of the Day — Ted Lilly Looking to Earn 4th Straight Win over Brewers

Posted on 08 June 2010 by Lou

Ted Lilly has had a rough start to the season.  Despite a good 3.61 ERA, he is just 1-5 on the season, while getting little run support (2.24 runs scored per game) from his teammates during his starts.  His 1st start of the season was a pretty win over this same Brewers team back in April in Milwaukee.  He tossed 6 scoreless innings and looked on top of his game despite several setbacks during spring training following off-season shoulder surgery.  Lilly has won 3 straight games against the Brewers with a sparkling 1.47 ERA.  He is hoping that trend continues against the Brewers again tonight as he has lost 5 straight decisions – matching the longest losing streak of his career (back in 2001 as a Blue Jay).

The one big problem – Lilly will have to out-duel one of the hottest pitchers in the game right now – Yovani Gallardo.  Gallardo last lost on April 10th against the Cardinals, going 6-0 with a 1.86 ERA in his last 10 starts since then.

Should be a fun match-up to watch.  Let’s hope the Cubs can keep the momentum rolling with a big win over the Brewers tonight…

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Cubs Take 2 of 3 from Dodgers @ Wrigley Field

Posted on 27 May 2010 by Lou

The Cubs took 2 of 3 from the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers as Wrigley Field this week.  It wasn’t all perfect, but at least the wins keep coming in.

I’m going to ignore most of the 8-5 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday night.

Most notable – I was very disappointed in the Cubs hitting.  14 hits and you only manufacture 5 runs?!  The Cubs left 2 runners on base in each of the 1st 2 innings and only pushed 1 run across during those scoring chances.  In the 3rd inning, the Cubs actually had the bases loaded and nobody out, and they only scored 1 run on a Mike Fontenot hit by pitch.  Starlin Castro then grounded out to force an out at home, Koyie Hill struck out and Tom Gorzelanny grounded out to end the threat.  The Cubs had runners on base in every single inning but the 9th inning, but never seemed to be able to push through more than a run at a time.  The lowlight – Ryan Theriot grounded into inning-ending double plays in each of the 6th and 8th innings.  Not good.

Tom Gorzelanny – we may have seen the last of TG as a starter with the return of Carlos Zambrano looming.  Gorzelanny never seemed comfortable out there and he gave up a season high 7 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks over 5 innings.  It least he gave the team the 5 innings though – gotta give him credit for that.

Now on to bigger and better things.  Although it was a pitcher’s/defensive battle between Ted Lilly and Chicago-area native John Ely today, the Cubs eked out the 1-0 win late to make the Wrigley-faithful happy. The Dodgers actually out-hit the Cubs 5-4, but the Cubs made their hits count in the 8th inning.  Mike Fontenot entered the game in the 8th inning after an undisclosed injury to Jeff Baker and he promptly led off the bottom of the 8th inning with a triple down the right field line that Xavier Nady had trouble fielding.  After Geovany Soto struck out, Tyler Colvin (also in his 1st at-bat as he entered the game for defensive purposes), doubled to right field to drive in Fontenot with the 1st and only run of the game.  It was frustrating to watch Ryan Theriot pop out on a bunt attempt that would have brought another run in because the Cubs continue to struggle in those situations.  When you get a man on 3rd and less than 1 out, you have to get him home somehow, some way, and the Cubs have not been consistent doing that this year.

Ted Lilly was great –7 scoreless innings giving up just 3 hits and 3 walks with 5 K’s.  He did not receive a decision however.

Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 8th inning although he did give up 2 singles in the inning.

Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the 9th inning although he did walk Blake DeWitt with 1 out.  It was Marmol’s 11th save in 13 chances and he has shown that he can close out games on a consistent basis this year.  He continues to lower both his WHIP (1.14) and ERA (1.52) with good outings.

Next up is a HUGE 3-game set with the Cardinals at Wrigley Field this weekend.  It should be a fun Randy Wells-Chris Carpenter duel on Friday afternoon at t he Friendly Confines – lucky for us, the Cards have a late afternoon game in San Diego today before heading to Chicago tonight – wonder who scheduled that one?

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