Lilly of the Valley of the Sun

Ted Lilly threw six shutout innings for the Cubs, but the Angels rallied for three runs against Kerry Wood in the 7th, and hung-on to defeat the Cubs 3-2 before a national WGN-TV audience and a capacity crowd of 12,727 at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa today. box score Ervin Santana (LAA) and Ted Lilly (CUBS) were today's starting pitchers, and both pitched great games. Santana retired the first twelve Cubs he faced, before Cliff Floyd broke the scoreless tie leading off the bottom of the 5th with a long and high HR that landed above the upper (visitor's) bullpen in RF. Santana finished with a line of 6.1 IP, three hits, just the one run, one walk, one HR, and three K. Meanwhile, Lilly was tossing goose-eggs at the Halos, pitching a shutout through six innings. He benefitted from a couple of outstanding defensive stops by 3rd baseman Mark DeRosa and an inning-ending run-saving catch against the right-centerfield fence in the 1st inning by Jacque Jones. Lilly was removed from the game after the sixth, but looked like he could have stayed on the mound and maybe gone longer. He threw no more than 14 pitches in any one inning (70 pitches total over six innings - 14-9-11-12-13-11) and had an uncharacteristic (for an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Lilly) 9/5 GB/FB, giving up no runs on four hits and one walk, with four strikeouts (Maicer Izturis twice and Gary Matthews Jr and Garret Anderson once each) and one GIDP (Shea Hillenbrand). The Cubs led 1-0 going into the top of the 7th, but the Angels rallied for three runs against reliever Kerry Wood. Shea Hillenbrand led-off by lining out hard to Matt Murton in LF, before Erick Aybar grounded a single to the outfield. With Aybar running on the pitch, Howie Kendrick bounced what should have been a perfect double play ball to the spot vacated by Cubs shortstop Cesar Izturis (who was moving over to cover 2nd base), as the Angels used the hit+run to perfection, ending up with runners at 1st and 3rd with one out and slow-footed ex-Cub Jose Molina coming to bat. Woody did his job, enticing Molina to chop a potential easy DP ball to Mark DeRosa at 3rd base, but once again, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had his runner at 1st base (this time Howie Kendrick) on the move, keeping DeRosa from making a play at 2nd base, and allowing the tying run to score. With the inning thus prolonged, Kendry Morales yanked a Wood pitch high over the RF fence, giving the Angels a lead they would not relinquish. For the day, Wood threw 18 pitches (12 stikes), allowing three hits and three runs (all earned), with an inning-ending K that came a batter or two too late. The Cubs mounted a rally in the bottom of the 8th against another ex-Cub, reliever Justin Speier, who was signed by the Angels as a FA during the off-season. Cesar Izturis and Felix Pie led off by driving singles to the outfield, before Ronny Cedeno laid down a beautiful 1-4 sac bunt that advanced the tying runs into scoring position (and Cedeno has been laying down picture-perfect bunts all Spring, the ability to bunt probably being one of the elements of Cedeno's game that has impressed manager Lou Piniella). Angel Pagan and Cliff Floyd worked Speier for walks to force-in a run, bringing the Cubs to within one run of the Angels and leaving the bases loaded with just one out. But Daryle Ward grounded into a 3-6-3 DP to kill the rally, and the Cubs went down a quick 1-2-3 in 9th. Michael Wuertz pitched the 8th and Ryan Dempster pitched the 9th for the Cubs. Wuertz alllowed a one-out walk, a SB, and ground out to move an Angel runner to 3rd base with two outs, but struck out PH Curtis Pride swinging to end his inning. Dempster had an easy 1-2-3 inning (11 pitches) in the 9th, with K-swinging (Aybar), a 6-3 ground out, and an F-8 fly ball. The Cubs travel to Tempe's Diablo Stadium tomorrow for a rematch with the Angels, in what will be their last "road" Cactus League game. (I'm not counting the two games next weekend in Las Vegas as Cactus League games). Jason Marquis should be the starting pitcher for the Cubs.
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Comments

It's too bad Wood can't pitch with his mouth.

I like how Lou put him in his place. This ain't Dusty ball, fellas.

I wonder who's next--ARam, Dumpster?

Easy, Steve.

Wasn't like Wood didn't have good stuff today. Had two perfect DP balls, but Scioscia was running.

All I know about Kendry Morales is that he's a defector, but if he keeps swinging at fastballs at his eyes, that'll be just about all I know about him for a while.

CT STEVE:
"I like how Lou put him in his place. I wonder who’s next–ARam, Dumpster?"

Hopefully no more. He has already called out 3-4 players individually through the press. He keeps that up he will lose his team by the ASG.

MANNY: "Hopefully no more. He has already called out 3-4 players individually through the press. He keeps that up he will lose his team by the ASG."

I am not too sure - If you heard Uncle Cliffy's dugout interview, he appreciates being kept "on his toes". I do not think Lou is being disrespectful. He is creating a sense of accountability instead of being an f'ing enabler like the last manager the team had.

We'll have to see, huh? Season is starting soon enough. Its gonna be interesting!

BTW, anyone read BP's rumor that Big Z will be signed this week in a deal betw. 80-90MM? I just heard about it, but am not a subscriber...

"BTW, anyone read BP’s rumor that Big Z will be signed this week in a deal betw. 80-90MM? I just heard about it, but am not a subscriber…"

That's all John Perrotto stated. We should hear more about it from Will Carroll if the rumor's legit.

I haven't followed it as closely as others have, but it's been my impression that for the most part Lou has heaped lots of public praise on his guys, and stayed away from calling out anyone individually through the press. Wood is an obvious exception, but that seemed to be more of a "shut up and just pitch" in response to Wood's message that he should be on the roster on Opening Day. Have there been other individual call-outs that I've missed?

TTG: Thank you, sir. I shall look forward to the development, as I'm sure most of us will!

“shut up and just pitch”

LOL!

Too bad this was not used with Prior more.

mannytrillo — March 25, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

CT STEVE:
“I like how Lou put him in his place. I wonder who’s next–ARam, Dumpster?”

Hopefully no more. He has already called out 3-4 players individually through the press. He keeps that up he will lose his team by the ASG.
-----------------------------------

You act like Lou has no idea what he is doing.

Lose his team by the All Star Break? Come on.... you've got to be joking.

Baker lost his team a year and a half into his reign and kept his job till the end.

I think Lou Piniella can far exceed that.

Come on Manny, do you really miss Dusty that much? I am not trying to be an ass about this, but Lou has been doing this for a long time and has never had a team quit on him. He has had sucess where ever he has gone and before you say what about Tampa, no one could win with that team. We suffered through Dusty's BS for way too long. It is refreshing to hear a manager say that players should play. By the way, Dusty never saying anything bad about his players, how did that one work out? What about all the All Stars that were supposed to sign with the cubs because Dusty was here? Macias, Perez, Lenny F'n' Harris?? Less than an entire off season and we sign the best FA available, plus ARam, Floyd?? Why can't you let the Dusty love go, Manny??

this celebration seems to be more of a celebration of the fans getting to live conflict and supposed internal stuff through the media.

i think some people are overblowing these "call outs" by pinella in the same vien it was hated how secretive and dismissive dusty was with the media.

Some interesting developments today,

JEROME WILLIAMS (3.38 ERA, 13.1 innings) has nailed down a spot in the Washington Nationals SP rotation.

JOHN MABRY beat out RYAN SPILBORGHS to be the Rockies' 25th man.

AND,

IF conventional wisdom is right and FELIX PIE needs to play every day for IOWA instead of sitting on the Cubs bench and coming in as a late inning replacement, WHY is he sitting on the Cub bench these days and being used as a late inning replacement?

Lou Piniella is the right manager for Kerry Wood. If Wood has anything at all left in his arm, then Sweet Lou is the right guy to extract it. It is clear to me that Wood is trying to pitch via smoke and mirros. I think his arm is held on with duct tape and baling twine. Hopefully, the Cubs will get decent production out of Wood, in between of course what will surely be a few visits to the disabled list.

CWTP,

Because Soriano needs to play so he doesn't do stupid shit out there?

What I was getting at Wes, is WHY, if it's what he really needs, isn't Pie playing everyday in the minor league camp instead of sitting on the big club bench? Is ST a kind of Bizzarro world where sitting on the bench is good for him?

I think Lou probably wants to get a look at him. I'd probably want to get a good, long, hard look at my uber-prospect too if it were my first year managing a club.

Hard to do that in minor league camp.

Plus, during the season we're talking about maybe 200 AB's with the big club (if that) and 500+ AB's at Iowa.

Now, we're talking about +/- 20 AB's with the big club or 50 AB's at minor league camp.

Who the hell needs the Wood and Prior sideshows, anyways? Screw 'em, I'm sick of that crap. We have a decent staff and a strong offense, I'm ready to go to town with what we have.

So long as Wood and Prior are not on the DL at the time, they can both be traded at any time, correct?

"So long as Wood and Prior are not on the DL at the time, they can both be traded at any time, correct?"

Yes, but Prior is still signed through 2008 and will not get much in a trade until he can do something. So the Cubs are stuck betw. a rock and a hard place regarding potential trades.

Since truly we don't absolutely need Prior (or Wood, for that matter), in my opinion the club should let them attempt to get their shit together in AAA.

Wood clearly needs a lot of work yet after his showing yesterday, and is being examined by an M.D. (again).

How's that "Wood For Closer" movement at TCR going? MIKE C?

"Lemme Hear Ya!"

Shocking News-

Wood hurt again, possible DL-

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/...

I think Lou only called Wood out was because he was talking like the manager on that he would be fine and make the team

I don't think Loupa appreciated Wood playing manager especially from an often injured pitcher.

E-man is on my jock like static cling man, lol.

Carlos - Check your e-mail.....

Brother! The article linked above has Woods responding with a profanity to a reporter who wanted to ask him a question after the game yesterday. Gee, I mean, I know Wood is frustrated but at least he has been paid very well to be frustrated. I just wish Wood was gone, that we did not have to read about his endless injuries any longer. Folks who warned that we better not let him go because he would thrive with another team, well, clearly there is nothing to be concerned about in that regard. Let's face it. This guy is done, period.

Wood's injury sounds fishy. Not that it's unlikely he's hurt; rather, it sounds like a good way for the Cubs to get him more work to start the year without screwing around with waivers.

@E-man: Prior isn't signed through 2008. He's signed through this year. 2008 is simply another year of arbitration eligibility, which means the Cubs can sign him if they want without Prior being able to negotiate with other teams. They could just as easily let him go if they didn't think anything was left in the tank. They could also find someone who would accept a trade. Though I agree with you that he may not return much right now--certainly not Miggy Tejada.

LOL!

And this is why I advocated not bring Wood back AT ALL. They should of just cut ties, wished him the best and moved on. And I don't care how little we signed him for. As long as he and Prior are still here here, emotionally, it will always be in the back of the mind that they will be what they once were, even if you say you are not expecting anything out of them. More press have been given to those two pitches again this ST than almost the rest of the team combined, yet both pitchers will be lucky to even make the squad in April.

We need an emotional break from Wood/Prior just like we did with KPat and Sosa. And if this team doesn't make the playoffs again, hopefully our new GM will realize that as he has to ties to any of these players.

Its too bad Hendry wasn't able to pull off the Prior-Miggy deal if it was even in the works. I was one, when hearing about the rumors said it was crazy to let Prior go. "You don't trade top pitching!"

Well, at least he got rid of Todd Hundley. As I keep saying, while I hated what he did (or better, did not do) during 2005 and 2006, I'll always give him a tip o' the cap for somehow getting that bum outta here and getting some nice quality in return.

"We need an emotional break from Wood/Prior just like we did with KPat and Sosa."

Do you think this would make for a new animation series, or soap?

"The Adventures of Kerry and Mark?"

Just thinking of episodes right now has me LMAO!

1. "The Hot Tub"
2. "The Mound"
3. "Mark Signs for Charity Event"
4. "The Large Calves Episode"

We need an emotional break from Wood/Prior just like we did with KPat and Sosa.

See... I don't think that Jim Hendry and the rest of the Cubs organization really cares about what "we," the fans, really need.

The Cubs have Prior and Wood on this team because they still believe that they can get something worthwhile out of them. Maybe they will, maybe they won't, but the price is very reasonable if they can get healthy, and the cost is minimal if they do not get healthy. The good news is that the Cubs are NOT relying on these two anymore. They have moved on, and anything that Prior and Wood can bring to the table is an added bonus.

But they really don't care about how much the fans need an emotional break from the hope (and media coverage) that is given to Wood and Prior.

THe E-man-

"Towels for Everyone"

dave:
"The Cubs have Prior and Wood on this team because they still believe that they can get something worthwhile out of them."

dave:
"But they really don’t care about how much the fans need an emotional break from the hope (and media coverage) that is given to Wood and Prior."

BULLSHIT!!

Why was Sammy and Patterson traded for basically nothing? This organization is very PR conscious.

"The good news is that the Cubs are NOT relying on these two anymore. They have moved on, and anything that Prior and Wood can bring to the table is an added bonus."

Have they?? It is very easy to say that, but deep down does Hendry, LouPa and the players really feel that? I seriously doubt it.

JACOS: “Towels for Everyone”

That's good! Maybe Rob G can get someone to to a script treatment?

Why was Sammy and Patterson traded for basically nothing?

Because they realized they couldn't help the team, and they were right. What did Sammy do the next year?

And Korey simply needed a change of scenery. It wasn't about the fans.

I seriously doubt it.

I don't. The only thing they counted on Prior for was to compete for the 5th spot, and he had done that. But they haven't planned on him.

Wood going down opens the door for Guzman. It's about time he walked through and slammed it.

Have they?? It is very easy to say that, but deep down does Hendry, LouPa and the players really feel that? I seriously doubt it.

Zambrano, Lilly, Marquis, Hill, Miller (Guzman, Marshall)

Dempster, Eyre, Howry, Ohman, Wuertz, Cotts (Novoa, Guzman, Marmol, Cherry, Piggy, etc.)

They built a rotation and a bullpen that works just fine without Wood/Prior. I think that's pretty strong evidence that they viewed Wood/Prior as bonus material at best.

i gotta agree with dave in #30 and i dont believe, personally, that sosa/patterson has a lot to do with it.

sosa's move may have been helped wildly by a bad fan reception at the Cub's Convention, but...well...believe it or not most cubs fans still like k.wood.

patterson was moved to make room for a change it seems...he has coachability issues that go beyond his natural tallent. he just is married to the notion that what he did to get him 'great' all through his life can still work without tweaking...that its gonna just snap together sosa-style one day.

prior + wood cost the team combined the same price as a mid-level #3-4 starter was going this season. that's not a bad cost-benefit risk to take.

Arizona Phil:

and had an uncharacteristic (for an extreme fly-ball pitcher like Lilly) 9/5 GB/FB

One of the most reassuring things I've seen from Lilly this spring is his fly-out/ground-out ratios for his outings. For a fly ball pitcher, he sure induces a lot of ground balls. That will be real important during the regular season considering the good infield defense and shoddy outfield defense.

"Wood going down opens the door for Guzman. It’s about time he walked through and slammed it."

Man, I HOPE so too. If he can overcome the "two-strike" or "two-out" letdown, he'll be markedly improved. At LEAST he is around the plate for the most part in the spring.

Vorare:
"They built a rotation and a bullpen that works just fine without Wood/Prior. I think that’s pretty strong evidence that they viewed Wood/Prior as bonus material at best."

You can rattle off as many names as you want, but quantity does not equal quality. We had people last ST saying how deep our staff was last year too. Look how that turned out.

Actually Manny, last year the Cubs were looking at Rusch, Marshall and Williams as stop-gap types. This year they are looking at Marquis and Hill as 32 start types, there is a big difference.

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