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.

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  • best relievers in baseball tend to not be the best relievers for very long though...

    also, when you start just trading away guys for marginal benefits, that window will shrink. The window is easily through 2021, just have to look how long Rizzo is signed for and how long they have rights to Bryant, Russell and so on down the line.

    Can't say I'm too worried about the SP, they've done nothing but land guys on the cheap and on the expensive since they've arrived. TheJedi will figure that out.

    Rob G. 2 min 11 sec ago view
  • Not sure I agree with this logic. The Cubs are one of the best teams in baseball, they have spent heavily on the team over the past couple of seasons, have more hitting prospects than they have places for them to play (and more on the way), a clear weakness in the bullpen, and have a 1.5 year window with Arrieta (to say nothing of the likely declines of Lester and Lackey).

    Unless you think (maybe even if you do think) Schwarber is the next coming of Babe Ruth, I would certainly consider trading him if it brought back a couple of the best relief pitchers in baseball.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • Miggy was going to sit anyway with Lester starting.

    In related news, do any of the Cubs pitchers want to throw to Contreras?

    Rob G. 2 hours 56 min ago view
  • Only Russell and Miggy failed to reach base yesterday. Both sit today.

    billybucks 3 hours 5 min ago view
  • Trading Schwarber actually makes a lot of sense because his actual position is currently being taken by Anthony Rizzo, unless they vote in the DH this offseason.

    Trading him for a reliever is never going to happen though. I don't think you can trade Schwarber unless you get a CF'er for a few years (presume Fowler finds his multi-year deal next offseson) or a couple of high end young starters...or an established starter...a good one like Chris Sale.

    Rob G. 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • I don't see what the Yanks have that the Cubs need.

    Ryno 3 hours 21 min ago view
  • peter gammons on MLB network pushing the yanks/schwarber angle...says insiders from the yanks say brian cashman highly covets him.

    unless that conversation starts with a.miller (2/18m left on contract) i dunno how you even start that conversation given the "not trash, but no stars" state of the yanks minor league system.

    they got corner OF'r aaron judge, C gary sanchez, RHP james kaprielian's questionable elbow, RHP domingo acevedo...all interesting, none expected to impact the game like schwarber's power potential.

    crunch 3 hours 54 min ago view
  • Zo, Heyward, KB, Riz, Contreras (LF), Baez (SS), Szczur (CF), Ross, Lester

    Cubster 4 hours 2 min ago view
  • damn. low sample size blah blah whatever, but that slash got sneaky good. 10 hits, 4 walks, 2hr, 1 double through 39 PA...nice

    crunch 4 hours 22 min ago view
  • Buddy Ryan takes his place alongside George Allen as the great Bear head coaches who never were.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 17 min ago view
  • Well, at least he can still hit: Jake slashing .294/.368/.868. Forget hitting 8th -- he should hit 6th.

    billybucks 7 hours 35 min ago view
  • Curious to see today's lineup vs. a LHP: Ross needs to catch Lester, Joe likes Javy at 3B when Lester pitches. Heyward with back-to-back good games at the plate, and is actually hitting a little better against LHP (.247/.341) than RHP (.232/.321), although neither is much to write home about. But, tomorrow is an early day game, so some regulars will probably sit either today or tomorrow.

    Maybe Willson in LF, KB in RF and Almora in CF? If so, Albert Jr., assume every ball is yours.

    billybucks 7 hours 40 min ago view
  • "Pitching prospects not looking so hot"

    That reminds me that Lucas Giolito will start for the Nats tonight.

    VirginiaPhil 7 hours 43 min ago view
  • Well, there you go. Federowicz is one of the best at balls in the dirt.

    VirginiaPhil 8 hours 2 min ago view
  • Reds pitching meeting tomorrow:

    "Hey coach...maybe we should walk Bryant?"
    "No...keep challenging him with fastballs! What kind of man are you?! The Cubs walked Harper, and look what happened there! They got teased for it, by one of the Nat players! Is that what you want?"

    billybucks 18 hours 44 min ago view
  • How can I get that feature? I think it woudl be a win-win for all involved.

    billybucks 18 hours 48 min ago view