Posted on 28 April 2010 by Lou
We really hope you like this new feature. We’re giving it a shot, so please send in any comments.
Without any further ado, here is your “Cubs Fun Fact of the Day”:
Although the Cubs are just 10-12 on the young 2010 schedule, the starting pitching has been electric thus far. Ryan Dempster’s 8 inning, 3ER effort in today’s 3-2 loss to the Nats marked the 6th straight game in which the Cubs received a “quality start” from their starting pitcher. A quality start is defined as a game in which the starting pitcher for a team completes at least 6 innings and does not allow more than 3 earned runs. Dempster started off the streak on Friday night in the Cubs 8-1 win over the Brewers. Ted Lilly tossed 6 scoreless innings in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Brewers and Randy Wells made it 3 straight quality starts with his 7 innings in the Cubs 12-2 win over the Brewers on Sunday. Back home at Wrigley Field, Carlos Silva made it 4 in a row with 7 innings of 3-run ball on Monday night, and Tom Gorzelanny kept it going with 7 innings of 2-run ball in Tuesday night’s loss. Dempster kept the streak alive despite losing today, and Ted Lilly has a chance to make it 7 straight quality starts for the Cubs tomorrow against the Diamondbacks.
Not sure when the last time an MLB team got 6 straight quality starts from its pitching staff, but I thought it was a pretty neat stat. Come on Ted, let’s make it 7 in a row!!!
Posted on 28 April 2010 by Lou
Just when you think the Cubs are going to turn it around riding a 4-game winning streak, they lay an egg and drop the final 2 games of the series to the Nationals @ Wrigley Field. So painful. The Cubs reverted their own old recipe for disaster — waste great starting pitching by not getting any clutch hits. Tom Gorzelanny was the tough-luck lose on Tuesday night as the Cubs couldn’t get through to 67-year veteran Livan Hernandez (just kidding – he’s “only” 35 years old but it seems like he’s been in baseball for 35 years). Gorzelanny recovered after a shaky first inning to limit the Nats to just 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks in 7 solid innings. Despite having a 1.05 WHIP and 2.45 ERA, Gorzelanny is 0-3 on the season. Ouch. The Cubs actually out-hit the Nats 7-6, but they were only able to push through 1 run, on a fielder’s choice in the 2nd inning.
As if the 3-1 loss on Tuesday night wasn’t painful enough, the Cubs repeated the feat on Wednesday afternoon’s 3-2 loss. Ryan Dempster pitched 8 great innings, allowing just 3 ER on 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 2. Solo home runs to Adam Kennedy in the 1st inning and Adam Dunn in the 4th inning proved might costly for Dempster. Dempster himself has a nifty 0.98 WHIP and 2.78 ERA, but is just 2-1. Ouch. Once again, the Cubs outhit the Nats 9-4, but could only push across 2 runs in the loss. In each of the 5th, 7th and 8th innings, the Cubs got 2 runners on base but were unable to come through with any clutch hitting to tie the game at 3. Poor and poorer. Marlon Byrd led the way with the Cubs futility, leaving 6 runners on base during his 4 at-bats.
The Cubs are back to 2 games under .500, while the Nats improve to 2 games over .500. The Cubs welcome the Arizona Diamondbacks to Wrigley Field for 4 straight day games from Thursday through Sunday. Let’s hope the Cubs can find some clutch hitting during this series. Ted Lilly will make his 2nd start of the 2010 campaign and looks to build off a strong 1st outing in which he pitched 6 scoreless innings against the Brewers in Milwaukee last weekend…
Posted on 27 April 2010 by Lou
We have a new daily feature for the MyCubsToday website – a fun fact of the day related to Chicago Cubs lore. It could be anything to do with a particular player or coach. It could related to Wrigley Field. Or it could relate to the Cubs organization in general. We hope you like it, and here’s our first ever “Cubs Fun Fact of the Day”…
We’ll start it off with a fact about Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Silva. Silva has been a major surprise in the Cubs rotation during this 2010 MLB schedule. After last night’s quality start, he has now made 4 consecutive quality starts to start off his Cubs career – a pretty impressive stat. The last Cubs starting pitcher to start his Cubs career with 4 straight quality starts???!!! You guessed it, current Cubs starter Ted Lilly he began his career with the Cubs with a bang back in 2007. In his 3+ year stint with the Cubs, Lilly has made 96 starts and won 45 of them. His 44 wins from 2007-2009 tops all Cubs starting pitchers during that same time span. If Silva puts up those kind of numbers over the next 2-3 years, we will be very very happy Cubs fans, and we could finally be talking about a Cubs World Series Championship. Ah, to dream…
Posted on 24 April 2010 by Lou
The Cubs seemed to put their hitting and pitching woes from NY behind them with a convincing 8-1 win over the Brewers on Friday night in Milwaukee. Ryan Dempster tossed 1-run ball for 7 2/3 innings, scattering 7 hits and 1 walk. Ryan Theriot, Kosuke Fukudome, Marlon Byrd, Tyler Colvin and Koyie Hill each had 2 hits in the win. Fukudome and Colvin stroked home runs in the hitter-friendly Miller Park.
The Cubs are leading the Brewers 5-1 in the 9th inning tonight. Two good pitching signs for the Cubs. Ted Lilly made his 2010 debut tossing 6 shutout innings, giving up just 3 hits and 2 walks. Carlos Zambrano also made his 2010 debut – out of the bullpen – and he did well. He recorded the final out of the 7th inning and then worked the 8th inning as well. He did give up a run on 2 hits and a walk in the 8th. But it looks like Lilly is back on track and ready to compete in 2010 and it looks like Big Z is capable and able out of the bullpen.
Go Cubs! Let’s hope Randy Wells can spark a Brew Crew sweep in Sunday’s contest.
Posted on 23 April 2010 by Lou
How much worse can it get? During the last 7 games, the Cubs played 2 of the worst teams in the National League (the 1-8 Houston Astros and the 4-8 New York Mets). How did they fare? Not good – they dropped 2 of 3 to the Astros at Wrigley Field and then 3 of 4 to the Mets at CITI Field. The Cubs are now 6-10 overall, they trail the 1st place St. Louis Cardinals by 4.5 games in the NL Central already, and they have to play the red-hot Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee this weekend. Ouch.
The Cubs managed to score just 3 runs in the 3 losses against the Mets in NY. They are going to need to step up their offensive game if they expect to get back on track in Milwaukee. In Thursday night’s 5-2 loss, Tom Gorzelanny turned in another solid outing. He did not allow a hit until the 5th inning and got into trouble in the 6th inning in which he allowed 2 earned runs. Mike Fontenot’s error on a groundball that should have ended the inning allowed 2 more unearned runs to score. Overall, Gorzelanny has a 1.07 WHIP and a 2.40 ERA in 3 starts. And while the offense did have 10 hits in the game, they never came through with any clutch hits that could have turned the game around. Same old story, just a different night.
Ryan Dempster takes the hill against Jeff Suppan and the Brewers on Friday night. Ted Lilly will make his 1st start of the 2010 on Saturday night against Doug Davis. The Sunday afternoon series finale will feature Randy Wells against Dave Bush. The match-ups work in favor of the Cubs, so let’s hope some positive things happen in Milwaukee this weekend…
Posted on 22 April 2010 by Lou
This crazy Cubs season gets even crazier as the Cubs opt to send ace starter Carlos Zambrano to the Cubs bullpen. What are GM Jim Hendry and Manager Lou Pinella thinking?!?!
Granted the bullpen has been brutal early in the season – 1-6 record with a 6.15 ERA – costing the club at least 4 or 5 games in which they held the lead in the 7th inning or later. And granted, Carlos Silva (2-0, 0.95 ERA and 0.63 WHIP in 3 starts) and Tom Gorzelanny (0-1, 1.93 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 3 starts) – the 2 pitchers who earned starting rotation spots until Ted Lilly could return from injury – have pitched well beyond expectations. But is moving the “ace” of your staff – the highest paid starting pitcher on the team – into the right-handed throwing, 8th inning SET-UP role really the answer? This astounds me.
Pinella had this to say about the move — “We’ll have a Carlos setup guy and a Carlos closer… I talked to Carlos today and told him we really needed him in the bullpen, and that we felt he could do a nice job for us. He said he’d do what’s best for the team. I’m very appreciative. He talked about maturing. This proves it to me.”
Big Z for his part said the right things too — “I told Lou I wanted to help this team until you find somebody. I told him I want to be back for the playoffs. If we go to the playoffs, I want to go back to the rotation… I don’t like to be a reliever. I don’t want to be a reliever. This team needs somebody to step up and help the bullpen.”
WOW – I am still in shock. I can’t see the club keeping Big Z in the bullpen for long. How do you justify paying a set-up guy $17 million per year? It doesn’t make any sense. I guess this might help stabilize things for a little while until the younger players can get their feet on the ground in the bullpen or until Hendry can make a move to bring in a veteran reliever into the mix for the late innings. In addition to the money issue, who knows how effective Big Z will be out of the ‘pen. Being a reliever, you have to get warmed up differently, you come into the game in different situations and you might have to start throwing out of the stretch right away. Can Big Z really adjust to this new role in 3 days? Guess we’ll see very very soon. Zambrano could make a relief appearance as early as this Friday against the Brewers at Miller Park in Milwaukee…
Posted on 16 April 2010 by Lou
We should see Ted Lilly back in the Cubs rotation pretty soon — he will make his final “tune-up” start at Class A Peoria on Monday.
In his previous outing at Triple-A Iowa this past Wednesday, Lilly gave up just 1 run and 1 hit in 4 innings of work. He walked one batter and struck out 4. Lilly was pleased with the start — “Everything went pretty well. I would’ve liked to have thrown a few more pitches. It was fun to get back out there in front of a crowd and compete and face some hitters. I had a good time.”
Manager Lou Pinella had this to say about Lilly’s upcoming minor league start on Monday — “We’ll let him go 75-80 pitches. If he’s fine after that one, we’ll get him back in the rotation either over the weekend in Milwaukee or when we get back home.”
Look for Lilly to start on the of the weekend games against the Brewers at Miller Park. Lilly has had success there in the past, and with the Cubs playing “average” baseball these days, they really need to get all their hogs in there as soon as possible…
Posted on 10 April 2010 by Lou
Ted Lilly’s sore back kept him from making a scheduled start for Triple-A Iowa today. His session was pushed back a few days until Sunday. Although Manager Lou Pinella said that “this is not a setback”, how can it not be? The Cubs were pushing a fast schedule for Lilly to get back into the Cubs starting rotation by the 3rd week of the season. At this rate, it will be a week since his last outing when he threw 67 pitched over 5+ innings in a minor league game in Mesa. Is he really ready? Should they give him another 2 minor league starts to make sure he is fully healed? Given the off days built into the schedule in the 1st two weeks of the season (see below), why rush him back when we won’t have to rely on Carlos Silva or Tom Gorzelanny too much. The Cubs need Lilly to make close to 30 starts, so I would take it slow with the veteran. But I guess they don’t pay me to make these decisions.
Pitching Coach Larry Rothschild and Pinella tweaked the Cubs starting rotation a little given Carlos Zambrano’s short opening day start. Zambrano will now start Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati. Tom Gorzelanny gets bumped back to a Sunday start against the Reds. Ryan Dempster will make the Cubs home opener against the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Monday. Wells will face the Brewers on Wednesday, while Zambrano will come back and pitch the series finale against the Brewers on Thursday. Carlos Silva will have to wait a week before he makes his 2nd 2010 start on Friday against the Astros at Wrigley Field. Given all of these off days and the juggling of the rotation, the Cubs will not have needed a true “5-man rotation” until the 3rd week of the season when the Cubs travel to New York to face the Mets.
Let’s hope the Cubs can put together a nice little string of starts against upcoming “weaker opponents” like the Astros, Mets and Nationals in the month of April…
Posted on 04 April 2010 by Lou
Ted Lilly will make his 3rd spring start against a minor league unit on Sunday morning at 7am at Fitch Park. He is expected to throw 60 pitches and if all goes according to plan, he should be ready to join the major league club during the 3rd week of the 2010 MLB schedule.
Lilly had this to say about his quick recovery — “Now it’s just a matter of getting my pitch count up and stamina up to make sure I can get through longer innings and be prepared so when I come back at some point, maybe not my first start or two, be able to throw 100-plus pitches and feel good about it… This is definitely not the way I’d like to draw it up. All things considered, just the fact that I’m healthy at this point and throwing without any pain, I consider myself pretty fortunate. I’m definitely not going to complain about anything. I’m lucky as it is.”
Good news Cubs fans. We need Lilly back sooner than later. And if we only have to miss him for the 1st two weeks of the season, that would be a huge plus. We’ll keep you posted how the next few minor league starts go for Lilly…
Posted on 28 March 2010 by Lou
Ted Lilly pitched in a minor league game on Friday at Fitch Park. Lilly threw 21 pitches, making it through 2 innings of work. After giving up 2 runs in the 1st inning, Lilly was able to retire the side in the 2nd inning. He did not throw any curve balls – just fastballs and change ups. Lilly is scheduled to make another start at the minor league level in Cubs camp and he should be able to return to the major league level at Wrigley Field sometime during the 3rd week of the season.