"Lilly Watch 2010," plus Joey Hates Us; He Really, Really Hates Us!


Phillies (47-41) @ Cubs (40-50)

Phillies lineup v. Ted Lilly (3-8, 4.08; 1-4, 6.43 all-time v. Phillies)
Rollins 6, Victorino 8, Werth 9, Howard 3, Francisco 7, Ransom 5, Ruiz 2, Valdez 4, Blanton 1

Cubs lineup v. Joe Blanton (3-5, 6.41; 0-0, 2.75 all-time v. Cubs)
Theriot 4, Colvin 9, Lee 3, Ramirez 5, Byrd 8, Soriano 7, Castro 6, Soto 2, Lilly 1


— According to Bruce Levine, Carlos Zambrano had a 25-pitch throwing session in Mesa, following the completion of his anger-management counseling. Zambrano and the Cubs are supposed to decide next week where Zambrano will be headed for his rehab stint.

— Paul Sullivan wrote that Jim Hendry and Ted Lilly got together before last night's game to discuss Lilly's future. Lilly, who will start this afternoon's game against the Phillies' Joe Blanton, was awful in his last two starts before the break, against the Reds and Dodgers—5 homers, 18 hits and 14 ER allowed in just 10 1/3 innings.

The Mets are getting lots of mentions as a potential suitor for Lilly, and Sullivan also mentioned the Twins, who were supposedly hot on the trail of Cliff Lee, before the Yankees and eventually the Rangers closed in on him. The Twins' pitching staff obviously needs something or someone right now; maybe it's Lilly.

— Turns out Joey Votto has something in common with White Sox fans everywhere: he hates the Cubs, too.

When I first came upon this, my thought was, "What a jerk." But after thinking about it, I arrived at the same point of view that Mully and Hanley expressed on WSCR this morning--good for Joey Votto and good for baseball. In a day when players switch uniforms so routinely and develop loyalties with each other because of past associations, sharing an agent, sharing a sponsor, etc., it's refreshing to hear one guy express pure, competitive contempt for another guy just because he's wearing a different hat. 

Speaking of Byrd, he showed up in John Dewan's latest "Stat of the Week." The Cub All-Star leads all Major League centerfielders in Defensive Runs Saved with 12. He is joined among the outfield leaders by Carl Crawford (13 runs saved in LF) and Ichiro (11 runs saved in RF). Pretty good company. According to Dewan, Byrd's previous season-high was 8 runs saved back in 2006 for Washington.

— Finally, loved this tweet from former Major League pitcher C.J. Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) commenting on Jamie Moyer's horrendous outing last night:

Jamie Moyer hit 2 batters in an inning for the first time in his career. Amateur.


Byrd has a real shot at a Gold Glove if he can just hit a touch more.

Byrd deserves a gold glove.

As a left fielder.

And anyways you shouldn't play with Ouija boards. They're a porthole to hell.

Robinson Chirinos continues to mash the ball at AA (.323/.408/.592). I'd be interested to know, from Arizona Phil or anyone else, how his defense at 2B looked when he primarily played there at lower levels. His offensive numbers don't appear to be a fluke, as it is now 1 1/2 seasons of excellence at the plate. It seems that he could be a short-term option at 2B and, as an added bonus, back up behind the plate. He's certainly a more intriguing option if Theriot leaves than Matt Camp, or a move of Castro to 2B and the promotion of Barney to MLB SS. Any thoughts?

AZ Phil has not been a Chirinos supporter, proving that Phils can disagree.

And over the last year or so, AP has been a Camp follower(!).

I love the fact, by the way, that Chirinos and his backup at Tennessee, Clevenger, both made the SL all-star team.

The Cubs are deep in catchers right now. Brenly has been surging, too.

you realize he's 26 years old in AA and hasn't seen a pitch from any pitcher he doesn't want to swing at?

Well, Chirinos has 236 ABs in AA between '09 and '10 and has drawn 36 BB versus only 26 SO - doesn't seem too shabby. The 26 yo issue is definitely a concern, but every now and again a late bloomer is the real thing.

just an 11-game winning streak from .500...

Make that 9 now.

9 more to go, still an 11-game winning streak

Yeah, you were right all along. I don't know what I was thinking. Too much alcohol.

Can't agree re Votto. He appears to have let a loser team into his head, which, to me, diminishes him. The old-school mensch thing to do would have been to praise Byrd's play(s) and say nothing else. See Sandberg, Ryne.

Also, considering that Votto is a) really good at baseball and b) a Cub-killer of the first order, I'd say he hardly needed to go the yappy, White-Soxy route at all.

Gee, I wonder if Paul Sullivan (@PWSullivan) resents Ken Rosenthal...

From Twitter: "D-Lee's friends tell @Ken_Rosenthal he'd waive no-trade: D-Lee sez: 'I would bet that not one of my friends knows who Ken Rosenthal is.'"


Ever seen a sports "beat writer" who wishes he was a pundit so badly?

First step on the road to punditry for Sullivan would be to lose the Alfalfa haircut.


cuz everybody knows rosenthal, andy jack-er, gammons, et. al. are right out of the pages of gq...still, point taken: sully looks like a 40+ year old virgin...

when the hell is bob getting back from vacation? did he go down to rocky point with grace? =p

rocky point?

oh the stories I could tell.

grace and bren tell too many on the air...evidently it's a good thing bren is bi-lingual on more than 1 occasion according to grace.

I missed the TV broadcast. Who was sitting in with Len today?

todd hollandsworth

he did a really nice job, but his voice and delivery is a bit too close to len's (in style and delivery, not substance). i'm used to the conflicting yet complimentary voices of len/bob. for the most part i didn't have a problem telling len/holly apart, but it kinda just melted together unless i was paying attention.

Give me zonk or give me death!

that's what pat hughes says

we have to wait until an 0/26 pitcher walks with the bases loaded to get a run in order to tie in the 5th.

yes, cubs baseball is back.

time to give rudy another million bucks.

aram homer onto waveland...i think he's back.

*checks team record* hmm...

*checks calendar* hmm...


At least it is before the trade deadline.

I don't know what the Cubs need to do to get this guy (and Lee) going earlier in the season. Taking 2-3 months to get going is just inexcusable. Just saying "it's early" is not gonna cut it. If Spring Training isn't long enough for these guys, maybe they need to play winter ball...

It's not like batting .200 through the All Star break has been A-Ram's M.O.

Lee had a bad first month last year. Not 2-3. Ramirez has clearly had injury issues this year.

For their careers, their first/second half OPS numbers are as follows:
Lee: 854/880
ARam: 812/871

They are moderately better in the second half, but it isn't exactly a huge difference.

Luckily, we've proven we have a GM who won't pull the plug unless the team is "mathematically eliminated." /barf

K's Werth, Howard, Francisco

eh, not bad.


Never hurts to win a game when the top three in the line-up go 0 for 12. Also, when did Marshall go from swing man to elite reliever? He's on my radar as most pleasant surprise (out of very few contenders admittedly) of 2010.

today's outing by lilly should stir the scout pot a little...

Goose Gossage's career best K/9 IP was 10.2. Eckersley's was 10.7. Mariano's, 10.9. Before striking out the side in the 9th inning, Marmol's K/9 this season was 16.8.

Castro is quietly having a nice July after a rough month of June.

June: .227 .299 .320
July .316 .395 .553 (not including today)

I haven't seen much baseball this month but I assume he's making an adjustment. It's nice to see an upward rather than downward trend.

Joey Votto says he was kidding about hating the Cubs and not congratulating Marlon Byrd.

This is all Bruce Levine's fault.


time to send bruce levine away for 3-5 weeks of "anger management"

Joey now says he doesn't respect Cubs fans and won't sign autographs for them:


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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 50 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 53 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 3 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 8 hours 31 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 8 hours 32 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 18 hours 13 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 21 hours 11 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 21 hours 23 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 21 hours 32 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 21 hours 38 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 21 hours 56 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 22 hours 32 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 22 hours 50 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 22 hours 51 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 23 hours 9 min ago view