Ted Lilly's Cheatin' Foot

Watching some daytime MLB. Camera just zoomed in & didn't realize it caught a pitcher cheating. Don't ask me who/what. Tricks of the trade.

That was a tweet from @CJNitkowski at mid-afternoon Thursday, sent while the former Major Leaguer kicked back and watched sixth-inning action between the Dodgers and Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Bill Shaikin's story in the LA Times explains what caught the attention of Nitkowski and the Dodgers' Casey Blake, who had singled and was standing on first base.

Blake accused Ted Lilly of cheating...trying unsuccessfully to persuade the umpires that the Chicago Cubs pitcher should have been cited for starting his windup on some pitches from in front of the rubber. "I know he doesn't have an overpowering fastball," Blake said. "I know he's trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in. That's cheating. You've got to stay on the rubber."

Ken Gurnick of mlb.com explains how first-base umpire John Hirschbeck received Blake's accusation.

Hirschbeck said he "couldn't tell" if Lilly was in contact with the rubber, but couldn't leave his position to get a better look. "It's a hard thing to see and you've got to know for sure [to issue a warning]," Hirschbeck said.

Eventually, Blake got pretty fired up, Dodgers first-base coach Mariano Duncan had to intervene, and...well, I'll let Rob Neyer describe the rest and offer his own moral to the story:

Duncan gets between Blake and Hirschbeck, and eventually Joe Torre saunters out for a bit of mid-afternoon entertainment... Torre didn't belabor the point, Reed Johnson made out on the next pitch, and Lilly cruised through the seventh inning. This is a small thing. Pitchers have been cheating in exactly this way since pitching rubbers were first installed, I'm absolutely sure. But you may, if you like, apportion extra credit this afternoon to Casey Blake, to C.J. Nitkowski, and to the InterWeb.

Oh, yeah—the Cubs wound up winning the game, 1-0, thus chalking up their second shutout in three days against what was the hottest team in Major League Baseball since May 1st.

(See the beginning of the fun for yourself, right here.)



good news: Cubs 5 out of first and 4 behind Cards and can make up ground this weekend.

bad news: Carpenter and Wainwright make 2 of the starts this weekend

The other Chris Carpenter is throwing in Montgomery tonight against the Biscuits. I'll be in the press box the whole night.

Cool, let us know how he looked. I saw him pitch a couple of weeks ago when Castro played his last in AA before the callup. Carpenter looked smooth but he had some opposite field hits off him and bad fielding by Thomas and Clevenger. I hope the Smokies keep it up and take home the first-half division crown.

Vitters is 1 for his last 21 and is getting made a fool of here in MTG. On another note, Greg Maddux is also traveling with the Smokies this week and looks priceless in the powder blue road jersey.

The Cubs should quit wasting roster space on Vitters and release him.

ya gotta love the 17 AA games without a BB
Who drafted this bust?

a 20-year old bust in AA?


Colvin was a bust the last 2 seasons as well.

Players develop at their own pace, not the rate that we need them to...

Vitters being ready by 2012 to take over Ramirez would be the ideal situation, at the ripe old age of 22.

And now Joe Torre and the Dodgers are the authority on playing clean and cheat-free baseball... what a strange season.

Still no update on the Baker situation (lost vision in right eye). Zambrano's non-appendicitis now being characterized by Sullivan in Trib as "basically...a stomach ache." He is "expected to be available" today.


Hello Chad Tracy.

From @CarrieMuskat:

Baker's problem diagosed as an "ocular migraine" and his vision is back to normal. Zambrano is "fine and taking grounders at short now."

Isn't Ocular Magrane one of the retired pitchers/commentator-analyst on mlb network?

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  • Thanks PHIL.

    Boy, that is a nifty K:BB ratio Hudson has going at almost 4:1!

    I hope he continues improving.

    The E-Man 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • And of course the Bucs won again playing AZ (not PHIL). They dont seem to have a problem yet with the bottom feeders.

    They picked up 3 games this last week.

    I'm looking forward to them coming to the Chi.

    The E-Man 2 hours 13 min ago view
  • Don't mess with the SI jinx. Since the Javy/Cubs cover came out, he is 2-for-20 with no walks.

    billybucks 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • BRADSBEARD: If all three are assigned to Eugene, the Cubs can play Galindo, Paredes, and Paniagua at the same time by moving Paredes between SS-3B-DH, Galindo between 3B-1B-DH, and Paniagua between 1B-LF-DH. 

    The Cubs like to have their players (including their minor leaguers) learn to play more than one position even if they eventually are projected to settle at one spot, and I suspect that will be reflected at Eugene, with just about everybody who will be assigned there able to play at least two positions. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • Thanks - at least the scorer was consistent

    Eric S 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • I don't think the error call was completely out of the blue but the ball took a very bad hop and would have taken a very good play to get it. Same with one of the Stella throws where I think it could have easily been ruled a hit. Neither were cut and dry calls though imo.

    johann 3 hours 27 min ago view
  • chased a high fastball...

    I think his BABIP during his run has been around .950

    Rob G. 3 hours 43 min ago view
  • Great stuff CubbyBlue!!! I think it inspired today's six spot as well.

    Eric S 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • That's all fine and good, but I think it's short-changing the Arrieta-like affect of his beard

    Eric S 3 hours 50 min ago view
  • Was the error scored on Zobrist's third ab ruled correctly? Ron was saying that it was a pretty tough chance for the fielder

    Eric S 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • Did anybody see that Zobrist strikeout?

    That was extremely disappointing.

    Old and Blue 5 hours 36 min ago view
  • Strangest win of the year, and one of the sweetest. Twice I thought it was easily in the bag, then after the first 2 hitters in the 9th I thought all was lost. Big game for Grimm, Strop & Rondon. But, man, those Cards can hit for power.

    billybucks 6 hours 11 min ago view
  • Very satisfying, gut-check win today. The beers on the trip back to Chicago are going to taste fantastic.

    Eric S 6 hours 27 min ago view
  • It's still very early but this game felt very important to me and probably knocked 2 years off my life. Seemed like every inning was big.

    johann 7 hours 13 min ago view
  • Yes then they moved him two spot then not so much, back batting 7th

    jacos 7 hours 14 min ago view
  • This is the exact game that the Cubs would have lost in years past to the Cardinals.

    The E-Man 7 hours 14 min ago view