Lilly Throws Three Shutout Innings at Fitch Park

Ted Lilly tossed three scoreless innings and then Thomas Diamond followed with five more shutout frames, as the Iowa Cubs blanked the Fresno Grizzlies (Giants AAA squad) 3-0 at Fitch Park Field #3 this afternoon in Mesa.

Here is Ted Lilly’s inning-by-inning recap:


Brock Bond (batting right-handed) lined a single on a 1-2 pitch over the second-baseman’s head into right-center, but was almost immediately erased when Mike McBryde bounced into a 1-6-3 DP on an 0-1 pitch. Lefty-swinging Travis Ishikawa then struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning.


Right-handed power-hitting 1B Jesus Guzman struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch (nine-pitch AB), Eddy Martinez-Esteve grounded out 6-3 on a 1-2 pitch, and then Steve Holm pulled a hot-shot grounder on an 0-2 pitch that was stopped by a diving Bobby Scales (going to his right) behind 3rd base, but after scrambling to his feet, Scales’ throw was too late to beat Holm at 1st base. Clay Timpner then popped up P-5 on an 0-2 pitch to end the inning.


Lefty-swingin' Brad Boyer dragged a bunt down the 1st base line on the 1st pitch of the inning, and the ball was fielded by Lilly but nobody was covering 1st base (bunt single). Lilly showed no ill effects from his knee surgery rehab on this play. Sharlon Schoop then laid down another first-pitch bunt, but this one wasn’t as good as Boyer’s, and Lilly threw out Schoop 1-3, with Boyer advancing to 2nd base on the SH. With a runner at 2nd and one out, Joe Borchard was called out on strikes on a 2-2 pitch (11 pitch AB, as Borchard fouled-off pitch after pitch), and Brock Bond struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning, and end Lilly’s day.

Mixing up fastballs and change-ups, Lilly threw 3.0 IP (46 pitches – 35 strikes), allowing just three hits and no walks, while striking out four. His command was outstanding (76% strikes is VERY good indeed).

Throwing 46 pitches, Lilly is at the point right now where he normally would be after his second Spring Training start. So figure maybe four more minor league starts and Ted should be back in the Cubs starting rotation (presuming there are no medical set-backs along the way).

Xavier Nady also came down to Fitch Park today (as he has been doing fairly regularly lately), and played 1st base for the I-Cubs. He hit 3rd in the lineup, going 1-3 with an F-8 SF and a line single in four plate appearances (he also popped up to the second-baseman and grounded out to short).

The real eye-popper of the day, though, was Thomas Diamond’s outing. Getting stronger and stronger with each inning pitched, Diamond threw five shutout innings (66 pitches – 46 strikes) in relief of Lilly, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out three (6/6 GO/FO). Known to be somewhat wild since returning from his 2007 TJS, the big right-hander was econominal with his pitches today and really mixed things up nicely. He didn’t get much of a look in big league camp, but he looked like a #1 ace out there today.

Here is today’s abridged box score (Iowa Cubs players only):

1. Bobby Scales, 3B: 1-4 (4-3, F-8, 3B, F-8, R)
2a. Matt Camp, SS: 1-3 (4-3, 4-3, 1B)
2b. Nate Samson, SS: 1-1 (2B)
3. Xavier Nady, 1B: 1-3 (P-4, 6-3, 1B, F-8 SF, RBI)
4a. Steve Clevenger, C: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, F-8)
4b. Welington Castillo, C: 0-0 (BB)
5. Ty Wright, RF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, 4-3, 6-4 FC)
6. Bryan Lahair, DH-1B: 1-4 (Ks, F-9, 2B, Kc)
7. Jason Dubois, LF: 2-3 (2B, 1B, HBP, F-7, 2 R)
8a. Ted Lilly, P: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
8c. J. R. Mathes, PH: 0-0 (1-3 SH)
9. James Adduci, CF: 2-2 (1B, F-7 SF, BB, 1B, 2 RBI, SB)
10a. Darwin Barney, 2B: 0-2 (Ks, Kc)
10b. Tony Thomas, 2B: 0-2 (Ks, 6-4 FC)
11. David Macias, DH #2: 0-3 (P-6, F-9, 3-U)

1. Ted Lilly - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 4/1 GO/FO, 46 pitches (35 strikes)
2. Thomas Diamond – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 6/6 GO/FO, 66 pitches (46 strikes)
3. Scott Maine – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 15 pitches (8 strikes)


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*insert joke about Lilly returning in July*

Nice news about Diamond. The Rangers had high hopes for him as I recall.

It's June, weisenheimer.

And Lilly is not fooling anyone with his pitching so soon.

So figure maybe four more minor league starts and Ted should be back in the Cubs starting rotation (presuming there are no medical set-backs along the way).

That would put him back before the end of April, right? Which would mean whoever our #5 starter is no gets how many starts? 3 or 4 at most? Maybe we won't have to see Silva much for a while.

less than that if they go with a 4-man a couple times through...they have a lot of early off-days.

Didn't they say he was aiming for April 19?

That would be a nice thing...

Of course in the early part of the year it MAY be to his advantage to get the "switching league" benefit.

But, 2nd time around - watch out!

In the back of my mind I am pretending he is Livan Hernandez, however.

Except that it wouldn't make a difference whether the teams see him for the first time in the first half or for the first time in the second half, really.

I don't think Silva is going to get much of a "switching league" benefit. It's not like there's any mystery, deception, or surprise in his delivery or repertoire.

Well...I can pretend, can't I?

I believe Silva and Livan could win many eating contests teamed-up.

Why not pretend something more fun, like that he's not on the team?

I would not presume yet that Silva is going to be worse than Gorzelanny. It will be great to get a fully "stretched out" Lilly back but one benefit would be to see if Silva is at least passable as 5th starter.

Brock Bond=best cinema spy name ever!

Or 70's porn star

Thomas Diamond his stat line sticks out dont know much about him,but lets
see how many starters can only throw 66 pitches in five innings the first time thru rotation.
Greg Maddux could a couple years ago.
My guess would be Randy Wells.

Thomas Diamond - great name; sounds like a TV private eye but it's perfect for baseball headlines [Diamond Tosses Another Gem]; Can't wait!

I know the minor league seasons start on April 8. Phil, when do the teams leave Fitch?

Williams to get statue at Wrigley.

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