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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  • Lester has given up one run or fewer in 11 starts this year. So I'd answer yes. Three of his last four starts were duds, yes. Not worried about him at all. Arrieta is concerning, to be sure. I look it at as, what he was doing was historic, so the regression was bound to happen. He showed in his start against the Mets that he's still capable, and I'd bet on him regaining his form.

    Tito 28 min 12 sec ago view
  • marlins getting a.cashner and c.rea from SD

    crunch 34 min 57 sec ago view
  • This is not an attack...But In what stat are the Cubs second from last in MLB, in hitting? I don't see this.

    Dusty Baylor 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • How odd the stats:

    Cubs 1st in pitching in MLB

    2nd to last in hitting.

    In May they were 1st in both.

    The E-Man 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.

    eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.

    we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).

    crunch 10 hours 36 min ago view
  • As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.

    I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.

    billybucks 10 hours 56 min ago view
  • Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.

    billybucks 10 hours 57 min ago view
  • Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!

    What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.

    Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...

    The E-Man 11 hours 6 sec ago view
  • Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.

    The E-Man 11 hours 8 min ago view
  • Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.

    I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.

    billybucks 11 hours 35 min ago view
  • Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?

    Maybe the three-headed dragon?

    John Beasley 11 hours 51 min ago view
  • Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth

    Eric S 12 hours 22 min ago view
  • Three amigos time?


    jacos 12 hours 37 min ago view
  • he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs

    crunch 16 hours 53 min ago view
  • Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.

    billybucks 17 hours 35 min ago view
  • ...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.

    I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.

    He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.

    billybucks 17 hours 38 min ago view