Game 11 Thread / Cubs @ Phillies (2 of 3)

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SP Ted Lilly SP *Cole Hamels
  0-1, 9.72, 5 K, 2 BB 1-1, 1.20, 10 K, 5 BB
LF Alfonso Soriano CF #Shane Victorino
CF Reed Johnson RF Jayson Werth
1B Derrek Lee 2B *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez 1B *Ryan Howard
C Geovany Soto LF Pat Burrell
RF Mark DeRosa 3B Pedro Feliz
2B Ronny Cedeno C Carlos Ruiz
SS Ryan Theriot SS Eric Bruntlett
*Ted Lilly P *Cole Hamels












Lilly is coming off his shortest outing as a Cub, that is, in games that weren't meaningless end-of-season affairs or didn't involve his getting a quick thumb from the home plate umpire. In Monday's game, you'll recall, the Cubs staked Lilly to a 7-0 lead, then the lefty couldn't make it out of the fourth inning. Eventually the Cubs won 10-8 in 12 innings. Thank God for Jon Lieber and Evan Meek.

From the report about the outing:

"I almost felt like...I was trying to force the ball
in there and going a little too fast," Lilly said.

As far as Cubs manager Lou Piniella was concerned, Lilly is
going too slow, the infielders may be back on their heels, and that may
be contributing to the errors behind him.

"The way it appears is I'm going slow, but when I'm out there,
I feel like I'm going too fast," the left-hander said. "I almost feel
better when I'm a little bit slower. It's almost like I rush through my
delivery when I go too fast..."

Lilly says too fast; Lou says too slow. Unless this game is played in a time warp, I think somebody is destined to be unhappy with Lilly's pace.

As for the Phillies' lefthander, Hamels is 2-1, 4.24 lifetime against the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano has tagged him for three HR in just 21 plate appearances.

Last night's game, in which Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hit consecutive first-inning homers, was the 27th game in which the pair have homered. (Only Santo/Williams (63), Santo/Banks (43), and Banks/Williams (42) have achieved the feat more times for the Cubs.) Too bad Cub hitters went 4-for-27 over the final eight innings.

One other note: Jason Marquis, who missed his scheduled start Friday night with a strep throat, will now pitch in the series finale Sunday afternoon against Jamie Moyer.

Update: Cubs give Fukudome the night off, and DeRosa sees his first action this season in right field, where he appeared in 22 games for the Cubs last year. Soto gets moved up into the fifth spot. Regarding the bottom third of the order--Cedeno, Theriot, and the pitcher's spot--all I can say is oy, oy, oy.


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And Lilly has another short outing. Meh

Hamels = good.

I'd rather watch three hours of this:

than watch another Cubs @ Phillies.

DeRosa cannot play rightfield.

"Hey, we swept the Pirates! We must be good!"

Ah, never mind. Meyers and Hamels outpitch CZ and Lilly, and Phils hitters hit while the Cubs don't. Very discouraging -- and they didn't even have Rollins. Very early, but the Phils look to be the far superior team.

Is Lilly toast? Ever since he gave up the glove-slam HR in the playoffs, he has been lousy -- terrible in Spring Training, very lousy so far in 2008. Wonder if that one pitch, and his violent reaction to the result, so shattered his confidence that he can no longer be successful.

If Lilly and Hill continue to pitch like this -- it will be a very interesting season. Cubs rotation now looks very shaky.

Early, I know. But still....

You blame that homer and concoct some deep-rooted psychological problem if you like, but I'll stick with the fact that he can't throw a curveball for a strike right now. Just from my observations, he's not throwing nearly as many curves as he did last year. The ones he is throwing are poorly located, which makes me think there's something to this story about him having back pain.

We just look bad. Even when we were beating the Triple AAA Pirates.

Rotoworld's take on Lilly:

He's been fine while working from the windup, but he just hasn't been able to get anyone out from the stretch so far.

Has anyone else caught this distinction? I honestly haven't paid attention.

I don't know about his confidence, but Lilly's fastball only hit 88 mph twice tonight. Otherwise, it was generally in the 85-86 mph range for the most part. It only touched 87 mph in the 4th inning and 88 mph twice in the 5th. Last year (at least by the end of the season) he was getting up to a top end of 92 mph. Likewise, Howry's fastball is maxing out at 91 mph now as opposed to 95 mph last season.

I recall Howry took a couple of months to get his velocity up last year. Z also took awhile last year before his velocity was in its normal range. I don't recall that being the case with Lilly. At any rate, two of our struggling pitchers have yet to show the kind of speed they had last year. Hope this problem rights itself quickly.

It's way too early to panic. Lilly will come around, unless he's hiding an injury. Which that would just be stupid.

In struggling for positives tonight, Doug Deeds hit a pinch hit bomb for the Smokies tonight. So that'll make you sleep well. Right?

So... I am waiting for everyone to call for sitting Lilly like many did with Hill.

Hopefully people realize that while Hill has not been great, Lilly has been much worse.

But no.. Lilly is a rich veteran, while Hill is just a lowly 2nd year player.

you need rest.

There's also the element that while they are both sucking, you've got a lot more options with Hill, as in he has options. With Lilly, you either have to stick with him or come up with an injury to put him on the DL, with Hill you can send him down to get some extra coaching and to try and fix whatever it is that's hurting him and bring him back whenever he's ready to come back.

Its not like missing a couple starts while working in Iowa to figure out what is wrong is a death sentence for Hill's career.

Of course, we could also go back to declaring an injury any time a Cubs pitcher was underperforming, but I thought we were finally rid of Mark Prior.


Let's get the getaway game and a 4-2 road trip is very respectable.

But there are some real things to start worrying about. Nothing to go crazy, but some guys need to start hitting while other needs to start getting some people out.

Manny shows up as the voice of reason. Holla!

it's all Marquis fault...if he hadn't gotten the flu, the timeline wouldn't have changed.

(as you can see, I miss the blame Barrett era)

I heard that Michael Barrett gave Marquis the flu...

as someone stated already - this Phillies club is far superior. And - no Jimmy Rollins in the lineup even.

During the offseason, I was hoping there was some way Hendry could have gotten Shane Vittorino.

It is going to be interesting to see, if the Cubs do miss the playoffs, just how much of an impact either Bedard OR Roberts could have made.

I knew they were in for it last night when Lou started an all righty lineup against Hammels. He did the same thing last year and Hammels made them look horrible in two starts. A pitcher like Hammels needs to have different looks so he can't get comfortable with that changeup. Having an all right-handed lineup allows him to get into a rhythm. Why do managers do this? I can see if Hammels were a power pitcher, like a Randy Johnson, but he's not.

This team is going to struggle to score runs all year, not much different than last year's team. Too many fence swingers and not enough baseball players.

His change-up is even harder for lefties to hit than it is for righties. He's still going to throw it to lefties.

May have a been a good idea, though, since there isn't a discernable difference between his splits against left and his splits against right.

The most annoying thing about the all-righty lineup, to me, is that having a "balanced" lineup and giving pitchers "different looks" were the only real rationales for going out and getting a left-handed hitter in the offseason. Doesn't that "different looks" stuff go for both lefties and righties?

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Phil, any updates on eight Oscar de la Cruz or Luis Hernandez?

    azbobbop 7 hours 40 min ago view
  • One miscommunication in outfield and the Cubs would have another no hitter

    jacos 8 hours 51 min ago view
  • Bruce Levine [email protected]

    Sex Fowler out with sore heel

    Pretty epic nickname

    johann 9 hours 24 min ago view
  • Mike Olt lives!

    The E-Man 9 hours 58 min ago view
  • Screw the closer.

    Old and Blue 11 hours 49 min ago view
  • He's had so few save opportunities that it might be difficult for him to get the All Star nod but Rondon has an absolutely ridiculous 1.05 ERA and 1.06 FIP after this game so far (and I think his worst outing was in the 10th inning non save situation) so I do absolutely think he is worth considering.

    johann 11 hours 52 min ago view
  • wood(4)/grimm/strop/rondon combine for 7ip 0h 0bb 8K


    crunch 12 hours 6 min ago view
  • 3ip 0h 0bb 3k for t.wood...nice.

    28 pitches.

    wonder if they'll let him go another.

    4ip 0h 0bb 4k...and probably done f'real this time. 43 pitches and in line for the win.

    crunch 12 hours 55 min ago view
  • And stay off the keyboard too

    Eric S 13 hours 4 min ago view
  • Depends how long he'd be gone but if not too long I would assume they'll use Wood or Cahill and limit them to 4 or 5 innings and call up a reliever to use in the bullpen.

    johann 13 hours 22 min ago view
  • hopefully it's a carlos-zambrano-special and he just needs to drink more water and less coffee+redbull before starts.

    crunch 13 hours 28 min ago view
  • Assuming Hammel needs some DL time for the hammy, who do the Cubs call up: Glasnow or Taillon? Too many starting pitching prospects at Iowa to choose from.

    Eric S 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • "cramping in right hamstring" according to the booth.

    btw, it was his left hamstring that was injured last year.

    crunch 13 hours 32 min ago view
  • hammel is injured and done..."leg cramp" or some other leg issue...was down behind the mound coming back from commercial and seemed to have injured himself warming up on the mound between innings.

    crunch 13 hours 54 min ago view
  • heyward with a bit of starlin castro're great D dude, but you can't range 200ft in all directions even if you're playing CF.

    that said, he almost had it...though zobrist or baez should have had it if heyward wasn't coming on at 100mph.

    hammel is quite wild today even if he got the first 2 outs on Ks that were result of swinging through stuff not in the zone.

    crunch 14 hours 38 min ago view
  • she did fine, fwiw.

    bombs were bursting in the air...ramparts were watched...all that stuff.

    zoobrest kissed her afterwards and got about 20lbs of the 100lbs of makeup she was wearing on him.

    crunch 14 hours 50 min ago view