Game 35 Recap: Cubs 4, Phillies 1

A Lilly for Mother.

Game Center, Play-by-Play, Box Score, Photos, Recap, GameChart

W - Lilly (3-2), Mom. L - Lieber (1-2) S - Dempster (8) Important things to take from this game: 1. Lee's pain in the neck. Derrek Lee wasn't supposed to start today, due to a sore neck. He talked his way into the lineup, but then left after the end of the first inning. For the day, he was 0-1 with a GIDP. Daryle Ward came in to replace him at first. Early report from Len is "neck spasms, day-to-day." 2. The great starting pitching. Lilly was absolutely dominant, allowing one hit (which should have been an out) through seven. He got several called strike-threes on the Lilly-hammer. Lieber was hitable, but succeeded in pitching out of a few jams (with some help from the Cubs.) All told, it was a crisp, clean, refreshing game through seven. With that choice of adjectives, I feel the need for a cheap domestic "beer." 3. The Eighth Inning. With a 2-0 lead, 94 pitches thrown and only one hit allowed, Lilly comes out to start the eighth. Helms singles, Nunez singles, and runners are at first and third with no outs. Ruiz lines one to Ramirez, who catches it but then tries to double the runner off of first. It was ill-advised to begin with, before accounting for Ramirez's wild throw. The runner on third scores, the runner on first advances to second, 2-1 Cubs. A soft fly-out gets the second out. A line out to Soriano, and we escape the inning. Should have been scoreless, but could have been much, much worse. 4. The Ninth Inning. The Cubs load the bases with one out, and Ward up. Fabio Castro comes in to face Ward, Cubs respond with DeRosa off the bench. DeRosa is among MLB leaders with 4.33 pitches faced per AB. That percentage will be a bit lower, after walking on four pitches, for a much needed insurance RBI. Another run scores on a Ramirez FC, which should have been an inning-ending DP. Dempster pitches an effective ninth, with two ground balls, and an Utley single that ended with a Soriano assist, as he tried to stretch it to a double. My more extensive write-up is below. Game Notes:
  • Looks like a "high sky" today - very clear with lots of sunshine. Theroit did a nice job battling a very high pop fly in the first.
  • Wind continues to make fly balls an adventure, as Soriano gets a second life after the wind blows his fly ball into the seats in the Third. Burrell staggered after it like a drunk toddler.
  • And as a result, Soriano walks after taking a VERY close pitch off the corner.
  • Top of the fourth, Ward doubles, Ramirez is safe at first on a throwing error that perhaps should have been an error on Helms, the 1Bman. Murton then guides a single into center for the first run of the game. Nice stroke by Murton.
  • And how about that: A tw0-out RBI by Izturis in the fourth. Don't look now, but he has a modest six-game hitting streak.
  • Not that I expected much from Lilly, but bunting with two strikes and two outs and a runner on second? Bad call.
  • That said, we're paying him to pitch, and Lilly responds with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Werth and Utley. He's making it look easy, today.
  • I didn't notice, but Lilly had an Interesting Statistical Event through 4 IP. He lost it when Nunez hit a sharp groundball to second. Theriot broke right, the ball was to his left, and it got through. A base hit, but the proper break on the ball would have made it an easy play.
  • With runners at first and second in the sixth, and one out, Murton gets thrown out trying to score on a single to left. Burrell fielded the ball in shallow to mid-left, threw a strike, and with Ruiz blocking the plate, it wasn't close. Philly outfielders keep gunning down Cubs runners...
  • And with Izturiz getting a hit on the next AB, that's four consecutive singles, and nary a run scored in the inning, yet. Lilly up with the bases loaded and two outs. Lilly might pitch like Babe Ruth, but he can't hit like him. Inning over.
  • The first "Real" hit off Lilly comes by Wes Helms, to lead off the eighth. He laces a single to center.
  • The wind is still dangerous. The fly ball that results in the second out in the bottom of the eighth almost gets by Jones in center. That would have been a Cubs-like disaster.
  • Don't look now, but Izturis has seven hits in the series
  • Here's a good test for the Cubs: Runners at first and thirdd in the ninth, no outs, and Alfonseca pitching. Soriano strikes out, 1 out. Pagan steals second, now second and third, with one out. Theriot walks, bases loaded, one out, heart of the order coming up. It's a 2-1 game with Dempster to come into the game. A good team has GOT to score runs in this situation. DeRosa pinch-hits for Ward...... and walks on four balls! Send him to the Minors!
  • Very little booing from the Philly fans on mother's day, until we get to the ninth inning when things begin falling apart for them. At that point, they begin booing everyone and everything.
Parachat Review: Inning 1: Mothers' day colors, smoking before sundown, Capuano, Garden Claws. Inning 2: Why Gino's cheesesteaks are over-rated. Odd and inappropriate Mother's day presents. Inning 3: Demeaning backpacks. Sexual addictions to gay albino transsexual albino midgets. Certain MVN personel's personal needs. Jon Lieber's departure from the Cubs Inning 4: The actual baseball game! Man-crushes on ballplayers. Inning 5: Marriage proposals at ballparks. Furry men. Inning 6: Damian Easley and the 1998 HR derby. The actual baseball game. The instructions on shampoo bottles and clothing tags. Inning 7: Hippies and haircuts. Intellivision and bean bags. Beer and snacks. Why Ted Lilly Rules The World. Inning 8: The Mother's Day version of the Philly Phanatic: is it, ahem, real? We Like Matt Murton. The strategic location of the visitors' bullpen in Philadelphia. More Oliver Perez worship. Inning 9: Hair-washes before your hair cut, Polydactylism and our six-fingered future, cab-drivers. Six-fingered cab-drivers washing your hair. I'm so confused, right now. Why Barrett is the source of all evil. (Again.) The actual baseball game. The lead singer of the Bangles. Howry's performance to date.
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Comments

ANY TCR NY folks attending the Mets series?

Please give us the local spin.

Thanks!

i am going to be heading to shea from brooklyn for one or two of the games....

and great recap today, trans.

I sure am sorry I missed that third inning of Parachat.

I got tickets for Wednesday's game vs NYM. I'm only going to get to see 4-5 Cubs games this year, and this will be my first, so hope they can put together a better effort than they have the past few games.

I saw the Cubs at Shea when they opened the season there a few years ago. Was a pretty miserable experience.

The third inning of Parachat was comedy gold.

I would like to mention that Chase Utley is a great ball player but a moronic baserunner. Now maybe it was all his firstbase coach's fault but why did he try to stretch a single into a double in a 3 run game? I mean in a one run game, fine, but that was the most Cub like baserunning I have ever seen.

Also, I would like to mention that I do not believe taht the run scoring fielders choice for Aram would have been a double play. ARam's speed (or lack there of) is the only reason it was close. I firmly believe that Rollins had to go too far to his left to really have a chance at it. Not to mention that Utley didn't even field the toss well and DeRosa should have been called safe. I agree with the the umps giving middle infielders leway on the 'area' play but at least the should glove it cleanly. FWIW.

I hate the Mets but have to admit I was rooting for them against the Cardinals last yr.

I'll be at Shea on Thursday, but I think I'd rather be in Parachat... All the cool (and messed up) kids are doing it.

Anyone (who didn't see it) care to guess who Joe Morgan thinks is the Most Feared Hitter in Baseball?

Joe Morgan probably thinks it is Joe Morgan

Lol.

Answer: Gary Sheffield.

Why? Because he doesn't mess around with this hitting the ball to RF crap, he swings for the fences every time.

I know it's beating a dead horse, but hey: the horse is already dead, so what does IT care?

Don’t look now, but Izturis has seven hits in the series
---------
Dusty's batting him 2nd tomorrow.

now second and third, with one out. Theriot walks, bases loaded, one out, heart of the order coming up...DeRosa pinch-hits for Ward…… and walks on four balls!
---------------
See what can happen when you clog up the bases.

the Sidney Ponson era ends for the Twins, released tonight

Jorge Julio moving on again...this time to Colorado for BH Kim (to the Marlins), or in other words, Flotsam for Jetsam.

Flotsam for Jetsam, nice.

This just in, courtesy of Joe Morgan: Gary Sheffield is "a great teammate."

[insert your own punchline here]

I'd like to introduce my Cubs Awards this far through the season. There are only 2 categories: Hero and Goat.

For Hero: The "Non-Aces" Marquis, Hill, Lilly, and Guzman.
These guys have routinely thrown great ball not seen by the Cubs since big Z went 10-1 after the All-Star break a few years ago. But for 3 or 4 pitchers to pitch well so consistently is beyond belief for me.

For Goat: Izzy's D and Z's weirdness are the runners-up. But, Cubs Baserunning wins the award. Yesterday, it was Soriano's hammy that kept him from full speed, but routinely it has been the lack of brain usage on the basepaths that has cost the Cubs runs and wins so far this year. What gives this category the winning edge for the Goat Award: Uncle Lou loves fundamental baseball. Flawless baserunning is a big part of the "smallball" that wins close games.

Predictions for the next installment (circa the AS break): Cubs will either listen to Lou, or they will abandon aggressive baserunning altogether. Z could be the comeback player of the 1/2 season for the Boys in Blue.

Go Cubs.

"See what can happen when you clog up the bases."

Talk about dead horses. How bout we put this sentence in context and use it for that.

And as far as Izzy's D, can you cut him some slack. He made 3 of five errors on one bad day. Outside of that he has two.

Izzy just wanted to clog up the bases that day with baserunners.

expectations are funny things. most everyone thought that our starting rotation was questionable, our middle relief solid, our closer middling, and we would hit for power but not really for average.

and then the season starts.

YO! Bryan -

Ryan TheRiot is as close to a team MVP as we have right now, along w/DLee.

Theriot has the best BA with RISP, has come through again, and again, is an alternative to the so far crappy Izturis (who today played how I have been wishing for since we traded our HOF pitcher away), and brings sorely needed high OBP to the 2 hole.

Last time they were up, Sheffield walked and Ordonez homered. Joe Morgan credits Ordonez 0 times for the HR and Sheffield about, oh, 17 times for getting on ahead of him.

"who today played how I have been wishing for since we traded our HOF pitcher away"

Give it up already. We weren't going to get anything else for Maddux. Believe it or not, GMs were not kicking down the Cubs door for his services. Hendry made a great trade and got an actualy player that could be useful rather than some minor league B level prospects that would probably never pan out.

Don't forget Izzy's hit with two outs against the Pirates is probably what got us going on our little win streak that saw us get to +.500. So get off his case.

While I agree that selling him short based on the Maddux trade is a bad idea, I'm going to be careful when I go the other direction and not make him the patron saint of a ministreak.

I know it is old news, but I see OAK designated Todd Walker for assignment and he will be released if not traded in the next few days.

Man, this guy must be brutal in the clubhouse. Now we know why, Hendry had tons of problems trading him, nobody really wants him.

if you all want to read some scary names in print, check this out:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/baseball/b...

Todd Walker was hitting .271/.288/.292 at the time of his release and had been getting starts at 1B before Dan Johnson was brought back up and the acquisition of Cust. That's not exactly what most clubs look for in a 1B. In this case I seriously doubt his DFA was the result of his clubhouse persona. We're talking about a club that had Milton Bradley and Frank Thomas in the same clubhouse last season. Walker's release was more of the result of his woefull ob and more importantly, his slg% which has dropped off exponentially over the last 2 years. Cue roids propaganda.

A's have 10 days I believe to trade him from when they dfa'ed him, otherwise he can accept the assignment or become a free agent.

Do the Braves really have the toughest schedule in the league?

'It's pretty unfair'
Chipper Jones slams interleague rivalry format http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/basebal...

Excerpts:
"If you play the top teams in the American League and everybody else doesn't, it's pretty unfair."

What Jones most dislikes is the recently added wrinkle that requires teams to play so-called regional rivals in home-and-home series each season, such as Braves-Red Sox, Yankees-Mets and Angels-Dodgers.

"We play Boston six times, and they've got the best record in the American League. We play the top three teams in the toughest division in baseball (the AL Central). We, without a doubt, have the toughest schedule in baseball, bar none. You don't play in our division and play the interleague schedule we play and not say we don't have the toughest schedule."

Followed by my favorite part...

After that, [the Braves] play the Nationals at home, then go on the road for a 10-day road trip to Florida, Los Angeles and San Diego before the All-Star break.

henry: post #21 is the comment of the week. Well played, sir.

IZZY: "So get off his case..."

I know you are his Godparent, but he's got a lot of shit to work out before I'll get off his case.

went to philly for the sat/sun games. some quick points:

-nice little stadium there in philly. nicer than cincy, which i thought it would be similar to. lots of food in the concourses, but more importantly, you can see the game from almost everywhere.

-i actually did not get there in time to see guzman's bad second (stupid accident) but from what i saw we have a very passable 5th starter. i think he'll be that guy for the majority of the year, if not the balance.

-yuengling.....mmmmm.....

-you can tell philly fans have earned the reputation as tough, vulgar, etc, but you can also tell that the phillies are so far behind the eagles in terms of interest it's no contest. in the men's bathroom after the saturday loss, there were spontaneous chants of "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES" by all the men waiting in line. which led to a cubs/bears fan yelling back "L-O-S-E-R-S LOSERS! I'll take my Superbowl XX over your shit anyday! See you in November!". He left quite quickly, as dissing the eagles is clearly a bad idea in philly.

-the phillies were beyond baffled at lilly. they never adjusted at his curve, and sorta couldn't believe he was throwing it for strikes. they gave up trying to hit it. fun to watch. chase utley in particular looked lost, especially compared to sunday.

-had geno's steaks for lunch before the game today....i actually liked them quite a bit. liked them more than i remembered liking pat's from when i was there a few years ago.

-love being in a rain delay as a visitor when you have nothing to do that night anyway, especially when your team just took the momentum away right before the rain. my friend and i (he's an astros fan but rooted with me for the cubs for the weekend) also ran into two girls who are cousins of dave otto.....very entertaining. we all sat in the first row behind the cubs dugout for the rest of the "nightcap" of game one, which was really fun to see theriot jumping around during jones' double, and less so while seeing piniella stunned at howry's straight strikes get hammered. blech.

- we went with no tickets in hand, not anticipating sellouts, which both days were. we got in for $15 each from a scalper for $30 tickets on game one, i guess that's the silver lining of getting there in the 3rd inning. sunday was a sellout and they were selling SRO at 9 AM this morning, so we stood in line, got our tickets ($12), hung out in philly and then got back in time to see cubs BP (murton looking very good there, just like in the games), and got lucky enough to sit in a section a little past first base where there were some empty seats in the 4th row. seeing soriano's gameending throw develop from close up was fun.

-not sure what they could show on TV, but ramirez's throw was beyond disgusting i can say from watching the play develop with him and the play at 1st in one field of vision. i yelled an old fashioned "NOOOOO" in slow motion as you could tell it was a dumb play from the start.

-it's a bad rule that that is an earned run for lilly bc the flyball after that "would have scored the run". i don't buy that, as lilly probably pitches that differently if there's a running at 3rd with one out. weird rule. we're splitting hairs now, time for sleep.

-i'll make it to the weds mets game.....wear your blue and red, and hold your nose as you enter the doors of that godforsaken place. excited to see rich hill for the first time in person.

this team is good. lots of depth, lots of pitching, lots of players that will hit lots of homers once they get going.

finally (as if that wasn't long enough), i couldn't believe manuel let alfonseca face jones in a key spot....righty fastball guy vs. jones? i predicted a double to left.....it was a double to left.

my other nostradamus moment was that i was describing the pittsburgh rain game and the cubs comeback and the rule change right when we saw the rain first developing over the philly skyline....and the same thing happened a few minutes later. awesome.

take 3 from the mets. Z needs to get it going.

Thank you for the terrific write-up!

I wish you had seen them win on Saturday, too. They should have.

I'm wondering if any of our contributors here have theories of why the three set up guys we were counting on, have stunk?

Is it just the "bullpen cycle" thing - and its time for us to trade 'em? Were they overused last year? Have they just fucking lost it?

Howry, Eyre and Oh-No-Man! are responsible for 8 of the Cubs losses so far (relievers have a combined 2-9 record).

"Z needs to get it going."

Think of this as an audition for Omar Minaya.

"Think of this as an audition for Omar Minaya."

Z certainly will be...

agreed....the Mets will likely be the #2 suitor for Z's services provided his arm doesn't fall off this season. Although the Mets are tied into some questionable contracts, they will lose apprx $20m if Alou, Green and LoDuca are let go for next season. They have no real other important FA's to take care of, and Glavine's 2008 option will likely vest as he just needs to reach 160 IP...but if he retires(as rumored) then they'll free up another $9m or so. Then after 2008 they will be free of Delgado and Pete Martinez's contracts and they already have Reyes and Wright tied up so the Mets can certainly absorb whatever insane contract offer Z gets from them...and he'll stay in the NL where he can still hit. Of course there could always be some darkhorse team to come in and overbid like the Giants did with Zito, but the Mets would seem a pretty good fit for Z.

Trans is to Parachat what I am to toilet paper.

I'm sorry I missed all the fun.

First post at the Cub Reporter. I like this place.

We're glad to have you, jdoolsiu!

Green Lantern, I salute you for your crafty ticket purchasing ways. Take me with you next time you go to an out-of-town game. And thanks for this:

"-not sure what they could show on TV, but ramirez’s throw was beyond disgusting i can say from watching the play develop with him and the play at 1st in one field of vision. i yelled an old fashioned “NOOOOO” in slow motion ...."

Let me just add that Harry Kalas is really annoying. It's like having the voice of God narrate someting really mundane. If God had a stroke, that is.

These old play-by-play guys should just retire, already.

*This just in, courtesy of Joe Morgan: Gary Sheffield is “a great teammate.”

[insert your own punchline here] *

It seems as though as long as you're the same ethnicity as Joe Morgan it's okay if you're a jerk who deliberately boots balls & fakes injuries/illnesses just to get traded and then SUDDENLY become an MVP candidate [Sheff] or if you've admitted to doing steroids [see: Sheff, Bonds]--it's all good.

This just in: Joe Morgan is an [insert your own expletive here]

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