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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  • One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players. 

  • CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis  at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely. 

  • has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.

  • As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?

  • AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?

  • Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.

  • AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.

  • I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.

    But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.

  • Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.

    Jason deGrom -- oh, my.

  • Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.

    Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.

  • Considering how players reacted it seemed pretty accurate high and wide (to righties), but not so accurate low and in. I thought the strike zone by the ump was awful, but it was consistent and the Cubs never adjusted.

    Rizzo and Bryant need to have good at bats. They are really looking outclassed in these two games.

  • that game sounds fun as hell.

  • I was just wondering the same thing. I'd rather not see it at all. If it's inaccurate, it's a bad viewer experience. If it's accurate, it shows some shitty calling by the umpire.

  • TBS' K Zone seems to be more harsh than the others.

    I wonder if MLB will ask the networks to stop using them. They just make the umps, and the game, look bad, and it only pisses off the fans.

  • ...joe.

  • "Strop vs. Cardinals." Seen the movie. Hated it.

    Not all that disappointed -- I didn't think they would beat Lackey in Game 1. Need to get the bats going against the guys with less experience -- and they hit Wacha pretty good.