Lilly Breaks Sweat [& One Bat]

After four efficient innings and a mere 51 pitches Ted Lilly called it a rehab at Principal Park tonight and headed for the clubhouse, maybe to call ahead and order a postgame spread for his temporary teammates.

Lilly fanned four, all swinging, and walked only one. He permitted only one hit, a wind-blown home run by Tyler Greene in the top of the 1st. His pitch counts by inning were 17, 12, 13 and 9.

There was no hint that he was removed due to the stiff back that's nagged him lately since his relief, Jay Jackson, was warming throughout the 4th inning and Lilly was even allowed to bat for himself and make the final out in the bottom of the frame. He had been expected to throw at least 60 pitches.

TRL III threw first-pitch strikes to 9 of the 14 hitters he faced. He picked the only baserunner he allowed off of 2nd base but Bobby Scales was daydreaming at 3rd and neglected to cover the bag. No matter - Lilly struck out Greene with his next pitch on a 3-2 count to end the top of the 3rd.

When he left the I-Cubs had scratched out a 2-1 lead, thanks in part to some aggressive managing by you-know-who. With the game knotted at one in the bottom of the 3rd and runners at first and second, #23 called for a hit-and-run with Scales at the plate. His bouncer up the middle was knocked down by the Memphis second baseman. Matt Camp never stopped running [I wanna say Sandberg Wendelled him around 3rd but I wasn't looking at him]and dove safely across the plate on a close play.

Lilly didn't reach the mid-80's with his fastball until the 4th but was sharp with his command of all his stuff throughout.

If he stays for another outing I would think it would be strictly for arm-stretching purposes based on how he looked tonight. We'll see if the post-game reveals any ailment-based reason for his early removal. I left as soon as he did to get home and put this up.

Oh yeah; it was Matt Pagnozzi's bat that he sawed off on a grounder to short to end the 2nd.


Cashner tonight: 10 K + 0 BB in 6+ innings. Only 2 hits. He now has 20 Ks in his first two starts against 2 BB in 10.1 innings. Smokies are up 14-2.

Looks like Brett Jackson is heating up in Daytona - OBP up around .500 and two hits including a 2B so far tonight.

Great news on Lilly.

Great screen name, Ross. Talk about going way back to acknowledge the Cubs' rich history.

Cashner, wow! Wasn't he walking everybody in ST? Sounds like we may have a look @ him in DM later in the summer...

Jeff Gray (1-0), called up from Triple-A Iowa earlier in the day, picked up the win, although he had an ugly inning of relief. He gave up back-to-back RBI triples to Carlos Gomez and Alcides Escobar in the eighth, which is still a trouble spot after eight games.

"We're working on that," Piniella said about finding a reliable setup pitcher. "I've got some thoughts, and we'll share them down the road."

per Lou's Hint: one of the current 5 starters moves to the 8th inning...and since Marshall has been solid, I'm thinking the 8th will become Silva/Marshall turf once Lilly comes back.

That could work as long as Gorzellany keeps pitching OK as a starter.

Repeating something I wrote a couple weeks back, Silva reminds me a bit of Bob Howry with his repertoire and overall approach to attacking a hitter. Wonder if he would have any more velocity out of the pen?

Thanks Mike Wellman!

Love the "Cubs West" reports.

From BRUUUUUCE Levine's Blog:

"Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee had a cortisone shot on Monday after sustaining an injury diving for a ball in Monday’s game. Lee expects to play Thursday. Normally a baseball player or athlete must sit out three days after a cortisone shot is administered in order for the medication to take its effect."

I did not know he hurt himself in this manner (as well as the thumb). Strangely, while we do not have another DLEE in the house, The X-Man is a very capable sub, and a professional hitter. Certainly a step up from "Hoff". I am not sure I feel the same way about Chad Tracy.

Nady had a really nice half-season with the Pirates 2 years ago. Besides that the difference between him and Hoffpauir is negligible.

Hoffpauir had a decent 33 games in 2008. Take those games out and his career OPS+ is 84. Nady is nothing special, but he has a 109 OPS+ in nearly 2,500 PAs. Most would feel that that is certainly a "step up" from the uncertainty of Hoffpauir.

TRN -- I think you are underappreciating Nady. Not only does he have a better hitting line than Hoffpauir, but he has two season of 20 or more homeruns under his belt. Also, the Yankees thought enough of him last year that he was their opening day right fielder. I don't think anyone expects Hoffpauir to reach those heights in his career.

I'm not claiming that Nady is a HOFer, but I think he is clearly better than Hoffpauir.

Hoffpauir has had the misfortune to be stuck behind Lee.

If you look at their Total Averages (or any other park-adjusted and league adjusted all incompassing stat) for the last three years - there's not a real big difference:

0.264 0.279
0.301 0.304
0.230 0.255

If you project Hoffpauir's HR rate out accross 607 PA's (what Nady got in his career year) that comes to 21.6 HRs.

Then you lose defense, and you force more at bats for Fukudome against right handers.

Why not just move Marshall to the setup role? He's been lights out so far. I'd prefer him in the rotation of course over Silva, but keep going with what we've got as long as it's working. I dread the idea of Silva as a setup man.

Wowzers @ Cashner.

Is he spiking his slider in that first picture, or am I crazy? Is Wes around to correct my potential pitching misinformation?

Looking forward to Ted's return at Wrigley North on 4/24!

Right so we can send Carlos on his way...

the question is which Carlos?

I posted this in the other thread, too, but would the Cubs consider adding Cashner to to Cubs pen to audition as setup man? Or do they really see him as a starter in the big leagues and want to let him continue on that course. It seems as though he could be doing better than a majority of the pen at the moment.

Don't want to answer for him, but I believe AZ Phil said around the end of ST that the Cubs seem to be intent on seeing what Cashner can do as a starter. He's obviously more valuable that way. The question was how efficient he could be and his first view outings are impressive in that regard.

Nice video of Ichiro pitching in a Japenese All Star game over at WrigleyBound

saw this on CCO blog...

Sam Fuld was sent to Chicago to see a hand specialist after leaving Iowa's monday game in the 4th inning. He's been having pain in the webspace between fingers.

Re: Lilly's velocity last night, or lack thereof, he's quoted in the local paper this morning as saying that he was, in effect, breezing; didn't attempt to throw his hardest...hopes his next outing is for the C-Cubs...

Recent comments

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  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.

    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.