Mr. One-Hitter Comes Through in Wrigley Opener

Notes following a successful home opener and heading into a well-deserved off day for the 5-2 Cubs:

-- It was just last September 15th, the day after Carlos Zambrano no-hit the Astros at Miller Park, when Ted Lilly held Houston hitless until the seventh inning before Mark Loretta stroked a clean, line-drive single tp recprd the Astros' only hit of the night.

That evening, Lilly, Jeff Samardzija (remember him?), Carlos Marmol, and Bobby Howry combined for the one-hit victory.

In this afternoon's home opener against the Rockies, Lilly was followed to the mound by Angel Guzman (1/3 IP), Aaron Heilman (1 IP), and Kevin Gregg (1 IP). It's the fourth time in Cub history that at least four pitchers have pooled their efforts to throw a one-hitter.

-- This afternoon's patchwork lineup, necessitated by Milton Bradley's sore groin, Aramis Ramirez's achy back, and Geovany Soto's bum shoulder, accepted nine walks by Colorado pitchers. That's 19 BBs in the last two games and five runs scored on bases-loaded walks.

Of course, scoring on a bases-loaded walk is no way to strike terror into the hearts of the rest of the National League, but on a day as cold and hitter-unfriendly as today was, it's not a bad way to go.

-- Chad Gaudin signed a minor league deal with the Padres on Sunday, reportedly because the organization will give him a chance to start.

-- According to Reuters (via Crain's Chicago Business), the sale of the Cubs to the Ricketts family may not be completed until after May as the family "arranges financing for its $900 million bid and works for Major League Baseball's approval."

The story does say that "baseball officials have met several times with representatives of the
Ricketts family and Tribune Co during the past several weeks."

-- As you've no doubt heard by now, baseball lost two legends on Monday--longtime Phillies announcer and Hall of Famer Harry Kalas, who was found unconscious in the broadcast booth before this afternoon's game in D.C., and former Tiger pitcher and 1976 AL Rookie of the Year, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych.

Kalas was 73 and began announcing Phillies games 37 seasons ago. (Kalas also narrated for NFL Films for many years.) Fidrych was just 54 and had but one remarkable season, winning 19 games in '76 and then just 10 more games over the next four years.

Both men, however, left indelible marks on the sport.

 

Comments

Here is my summary of the season so far:

Gregg, Bradley and DLee have been terrible, along with our situational pitching, and we have injuries to 2 of our bigger run producers.

Still, we are 5-2 and tied for the division lead.

Life is good...

Lilly was nothing less than masterful; if you like good pitching today was like eating good Russian caviar. His pitch selection was outstanding and his location was uncanny; the Rocks came across as whiners. They should have been mad at themselves, not the officiating. Or they should have tipped their caps to a pitcher who was at the top of his game. Lilly reminded me today of Kenny Holtzman at his prime while in a Cubs uniform.

Ted did have good stuff today, but he did that get call a good 2 or 3 inches below the knees all day, which helped him dramatically.

I would have been pissed about continuing to get rung up on that pitch all day if I were in the other dugout, too. But, at the same time, Andy Fletcher is freezing cold and soaking wet and wants to get the fuck out of there. Everything close is a strike on those kind of days. The problem was that Ubaldo had a really hard time throwing anything that close. He'd have gotten that same pitch but had very poor control all day.

it's where it crosses the front edge of the plate not where the catcher catches is.

I only followed on sportsline but his pitches do break that much wehre that could have been the case.

REALLY?!?!?!?!?

Wow. You'd think I'd know information like that from somewhere else along my life's course.

Don't be such an edgist. The ball can cross any projected edge of the plate it may choose.

I firmly believe that the Cubs could have gotten even more runs walked in off of Jimenez had they been more patient. Lilly's at bat could very easily have been a walk had he let more pitches go by.

Jimenez simply did not have anything resembling control. It would have been nice to see him dig himself an even deeper hole.

I'll happily take the win though.

Really? You complaining about a pitcher not talking a walk?

Yeah... actually. Sounds silly, but watching the control problems that benefited the batters before him... well, Lilly could've been more patient.

Hell, I want it all!

Az. Phil,
Has the Ext. ST roster been announced yet? Thanks.

It sucks that just a week into the season our off-day is considered a much needed one. I've been really, really happy with Koyie in Soto's absence. I'm not terrible disappointed with Bradley...his discipline is good the hits will come. Generally happy across the board...the 2 games we lost we probably should have won.

I always hate the day off after the openner, but hopefully the starters will be back in the lineup on Weds.

I did not know that, that's interesting. Hopefully 2 out of the 3 make it back for Wednesday, at least.

I think it's encouraging to see the Cubs go 5-2 despite playing mediocre ball. Supposing the Cubs contend I really think they're going to need to deal for a legit SS. Don't get me wrong, Theriot is great and I consider him key to the team, but given the choice between a .300-hitting shortstop with C defense and a .250-hitting shortstop with A defense, I take the .250 guy every time. I think Cedeno was supposed to be that guy, but that didn't exactly work out.

OH, and props to the rotation. The starting pitching has been great and I consider that a good omen.

Before Theriot we had plenty of guys like that, e.g. Itzturis, Cedeno, Neifi, Alex Gonzalez, etc. and I cringe at the thought of going back to those days. And of course being solid defensively doesn't mean you can't make errors at key moments (see Gonzalez)!

But mostly I am just not sure who would be worth it. You aren't going to be able to go out and get a Rollins, or Peralta, or a Michael Young at the deadline. If the Cubs can, I am all for it. But in reality you are looking at a .250 A defender as you described.

2008 Stats
Bobby Crosby .972 FP, 4.17 RF, .645 OPS
Cesar Izturis .980 FP, 4.85 RF, .628 OPS
Ryan Theriot .975 FP, 3.90 RF, .746 OPS

Would those defensive upgrades be worth the offensive downgrade? I don't think so. Theriot is by all accounts a C defender as you described, average. Most of those above average are studs who we could never get, and those that aren't are mostly terrible, old, one-dimensional players.

What I am for later in the season is replacing Miles somehow. If Theriot and Fontenot are starting up the middle, you should have a slick fielding backup who can also spell Ramirez at third. Our starting second baseman should not have to move to third to cover him when he needs a day off. Miles, in my opinion, is not a great improvement defensively on any of the positions and is not a threat off the bench pinch hitting. So why have him?

Seeing Hill's production and demeanor makes me all the happier that he is with the club. I was uneasy when I read about Bako in the offseason. Good to know that my bias towards Hill's scrappy character has been reaffirmed.

"Mr. One-Hitter Comes Through "

Hopefully he will on 4/20.

DUUUUUUUUDDE!!!!

"It sucks that just a week into the season our off-day is considered a much needed one."

I wouldn't worry too much about that - it's 9:00 here, and it's almost as bad (if not worse) than yesterday's weather. Wind, some rain and cold as hell (35 degree) - a great day to have off, IMO.

Yeah, I wasn't very clear about what I meant. What I was saying was today is certainly a much needed day off. We are "banged up" as a team. But what sucks is that we are "banged up" after one week. You don't like guys to have those nagging non-DL injuries after just a handful of games.

In adding to the MASH unit, K. Hill's shoe had to have leather cut out of it for his little toe. I cannot imagine that kind of pain when squatting is your gig.

I'd think he's glad for an off-day too.

No doubt by the time the weather warms up, the NL's top two or three lineups will hot their stride.

when squatting is your gig.

must.....show.....restraint!

Err...hit their stride (iPhone)

re: Cedeno. In 14 ab's so far, .200 obp, .143 avg.

Lol...Cedeno sucks.

Jimmy Rollins: 33 ab's, .121/.171/.152..

Rollins is, of course, a stud, and Cedeno is not. Let's not let our surperb sense of schaedenfreude kick in just yet on Ronny Cedeno, huh?

That's my favorite word. Just ahead of floccinaucinihilipilification...I think that's spelled right.

Right on the money The Joe!!!

Bam!

That's 19 BBs in the last two games and five runs scored on bases-loaded BB's;

The Giants haven't received a BB, intentional, unintentional or accidental, in three games.

Recent comments

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  • brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.

    crunch 44 min 45 sec ago view
  • Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 15 min ago view
  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 20 hours 25 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 20 hours 31 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 20 hours 36 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 20 hours 47 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 20 hours 59 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 21 hours 24 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 22 hours 4 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 23 hours 16 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 23 hours 33 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 23 hours 37 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 1 day 22 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 1 day 5 hours ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 1 day 6 hours ago view