Game #63 recap: Cubs 1, White Sox 0, Lilly Almost

Addendum: In cycling through Cub no-hit history, ESPN's Jon Miller mentioned that the Cubs have not been on the short end of a no-hitter since Sandy Koufax tossed a perfect game against the Cubs back in 1965. That was the game that saw Cub loser Bob Hendley allow the Dodgers just one hit. Joe Morgan intoned that he heard the ninth inning of that game on the radio as he and his Houston Astro teammates drove into the city from the L.A. airport; they were scheduled to play the Dodgers the next night. Morgan said he specifically remembered Koufax striking out Ernie Banks in the 9th to preserve the perfect game. Would it surprise you to know that Morgan was wrong? Nope. Didn't surprise me either.



The Cubs held on to beat the White Sox, 1-0, Sunday night at Wrigley Field. The game saw Ted Lilly and Gavin Floyd locked up in a double no-hit duel until Alfonso Soriano collected the game's first hit, a double inside the leftfield line with two out in the Cubs seventh. Chad Tracy then followed with a sharp ground-ball single that plated Soriano with the game's only run.

Lilly maintained his no-hitter into the top of the ninth, at which point Juan Pierre rapped a clean line single to centerfield to break up the no-no and send Lilly to the showers in favor of Carlos Marmol. Marmol's shaky ninth inning included a walk and a balk, which left the Sox with men at second and third and none out. But the Cub closer came back to fan Alexei Ramirez and, following an intentional pass to Alex Rios, he induced Paul Konerko to hit into a force out and retired Carlos Quentin on a fly ball to short centerfield.

All in all, great drama for the third and final game in this Cubs/White Sox series; so great, it was momentarily possible to forget that we were watching two desperately mediocre teams that between them, couldn't put together a first-rate pennant contender.

Sad to see Lilly lose his no-hit bid so late in the game. The ESPN boys pointed out that this would have marked the first no-hit game thrown at Wrigley Field since Milt Pappas's near-perfect game against the Padres in 1972. I guess that means the good news about Lilly missing out on the no-hitter is that we won't have to listen to Milt Pappas remind the Chicago radio audience tomorrow morning how Bruce Froemming jobbed him out of a perfect game.


"Wrigley Field people, all they can do is boo. They boo for every freaking thing here." Oz on Cubs fans booing Beckham bunt attempt in 8th. (via @cst_sox)

seemed like a harmless boo, don't think anyone could be too upset in a 1-0 game about that.

except maybe Curt Schilling.

Ozzie's a little on edge, now he has two sons he has to find jobs for.

dear oz: get the fuck over it.

Wasn't it hawk harrelson who got all whiny when someone tried to bunt in the later innngs of Buerle's perfecto?

probably, but he's missing chromosomes.

I thought he had an extra chromosome...

"The lyrics discuss an individual who has Down Syndrome, formerly known as Mongolism. Despite his affliction, he is able to live a normal life so that nobody knows of his extra chromosome."

Also see:


Enough with the Hawk Harrelson love.

duty now, spud.

Speaking of Joe Morgan...did anyone else hear when he said that Zambrano's no-hitter in 2008 was played in Miller Park because of hurricane Katrina? Just not even close....3 years off.

Holy balls, Katrina was 5 years ago?

They need to get that little dude from PTI to come on and do his fact checking and correcting every two innings or so in Joe Morgan games.

we were watching two desperately mediocre teams that between them, couldn't put together a first-rate pennant contender


i heard miller invoke katrina...only thing that would ever surprise me about morgan would be if he ever shut up...wish we didn't play the sox; can't stand ozzie, can't stand harrelson, can't stand their uni's, etc.

Can't stand Pierzynski, can't stand Andruw Jones, can't stand Buehrle, can't stand Peavy. . .

No Cubs, not much else baseball involving players on my fantasy team


be a good day for a firing.

Even a ceremonial firing could be cathartic. "Ivan DeJesus, collect your things and get out of here!"

if they got no hitted by gavin floyd...

It was a perfect game, and there was no way Banks batted in the bottom third of the order. Koufax did strike out all the batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings, including, of course, Banks in the eighth.

courtesy of Cubnut, look at Cubs OPS by position and how they rank in the NL

Thanks for the link, Rob. Just to clarify the little chart, it doesn't show where the Cubs rank relative to the rest of the NL, defensive position-by-defensive position. It just shows the order of offensive output by position. For example, league-wide, the most productive offensive players are the first basemen, the rightfielders, and then the third basemen. For the Cubs, the most productive offensive players have been the leftfielders (primarily Soriano) the centerfielders (primarily Byrd), and the catchers (mostly Soto). Third base (i.e., Ramirez) and second base are where the Cubs have fallen most short of the rest of the NL.

I think it'd be fun to take a moment to fully appreciate the lack of production at 2nd base:

Ryan Theriot as a SS this year: .764 OPS

Mike Fontenot's overall 2010 OPS: .780
Jeff Baker's overall 2010 OPS: .705, despite a dismal .247 batting average.

Ryan Theriot as a 2B this year: .517 OPS.

Fontenot and Baker still seem like the best option at 2B to me as a platoon. Fontenot can put up average-ish offensive numbers, and Baker has hammered lefties in his career.

Castro is putting up a .660 OPS so far. A little disappointing, but not terribly surprising.

If the Cubs are playing for 2011, they need to deal Theriot at some point and go with the cheap platoon at 2B.

If the Cubs think they are contenders still, Theriot needs to hit or sit. An ice cold Ryan Theriot helps no one.

For the first 26 games Theriot had a .799 OPS. Over the next 25 it was .384. But over his last 8 games he's had an .828 OPS. Those 4 weeks he struggled so badly might have just been a slump or it might have been the position change, or a little of both.

My guess is that if he hadn't just been moved he would have sat much more during that horrendous stretch. The move from SS to 2B was like being demoted so Lou naturally wants to make sure he knows that he will be the everyday second basemen. He also wants to get him reps at the new position, not sporadic play, so he can adjust. And he wants Castro to work with the same DP partner as much as possible as he adjusts to the big leagues.

Anyway, my guess is that Theriot will end up with an OPS right around .700 by the time the season ends, with above average defense at 2B, and 25 stolen bases or so. All of which makes him about 12th-15th as far as MLB second basemen go.

ryan theriot was leading the league in hits when he was moved from SS to 2nd.


Theriot plays above average defense?

Pretty much any shortstop playing second base will be above average. They have greater range and stronger throwing arms than traditional second basemen.

lol. But isn't Theriot a second baseman who was playing shortstop who is now playing second base again? This Shortstops vs. Secondbasemen argument doesn't make sense to me when it essentially just comes down to where the manager decides to put them. It's not like comparing Wolves to Coyotes or something.

This is irony, right? I'm just missing some irony.

I think the point is that there are some second basemen that you just can't move to shortstop, even if the manager wants to. The fact that Theriot was able to play short, and play it adequately, suggests he is above most second basement (e.g. Fontenot) defensively.

Regarding Castro, I like to compare him most to Elvis Andrus of last season: similar age, experience, hype and position. Andrus finished with a .702 ops, if Castro can end up in that neighborhood this season and play good defense, I would be more than happy.

it's still deck chair shuffling to me. he doesn't hurt much when he hurts and he doesn't help much when he helps.

at least fontenot's finding some ABs...he was consistently as boring yet productive as the other guys until the past couple weeks.

Oswalt to Rangers reported to be close and then rebuked by Olney

damn liberal media...

Unless the Rangers have a lot more home games against the Cubs, they just can't afford him.

Morosi thinks Cubs should trade Fukudome and Theriot

and I ask, "That's it?"

says Fukudome has an NTC to 15 teams and no one is looking for a shortstop right now.

how about trading Byrd? his value will never be higher.

You make too much sense.

But then Hendry is pretending to be trying to win it all every year--even this year. He has no long term plans (he admitted last year) just over-reactions to desperate situations as they develop.

What are you talking about? The last time Hendry traded a guy he signed as a FA from Texas and traded him, the Neanderthals were pounding on the Wrigley gates in outrage.

John Grabow has completed his rehab at Iowa and has returned to Chicago. He will presumably be reactivated tomorrow.

and the wheel of demotion falls on?

I guess howry gets released or Wells or Atkins gets sent down.

If Howry and Grabow are in the same bullpen the Cubs should just forfeit all of their remaining games to spare us from having to watch.

What was the move to activate Atkins, anyway? Was Russell sent down?

Maybe Grabow can develop some social anxiety disorder quickly and go to the 60-day.

yeah Russell

I was at that game in '72 and it WAS strike 3...I calls em as I sees em! Milt should get a Corvette!

A little more draft recap from Baseball prospectus (subscription?) You should be able read a little at least without a subscription.

"While it was initially hard to understand the Simpson selection at 16, at least it's more understandable with some time to digest the pick. Golden and Gibbs are one of the best second/third round combos around, and the club seemed to focus on upside throughout day two."

Easily the biggest shocker of the first round, but post-draft inquiries had it making more sense, as he's the player the Cubs wanted, and they feared a team with multiple first-round picks would nab him before they selected again.

you don't fucking say...

Recent comments

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  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.

  • Unbeleivable Dodgers:
    I just noticed the Dodger's payroll today. It is just absurd. $300,000,000+!!
    Here is where just some of their money is for 2015:

    Some "Highlights"
    Carl Crawford $20MM
    Brandon McCarthy $17MM
    Bronson Arroyo $3.5MM
    Darwin B $2.2MM
    Dan Haren $10MM
    Matt Kemp $18MM
    Brian Wilson $10MM
    Ryan Webb $2.2MM
    Dee Gordon $2.5MM

  • So I think tomorrow will be the most important test of how far we can go. We can win it all with two pitchers since Arietta has shown he can carry over his success to the post season. If Lester can be dominant also then I think we can go far no matter how Hendricks or Hammel do.


    And in terms of pitching just went through to see how we could maximize Lester and Arietta and came up with this (Lester would be going on 4 days rest three times and Arietta twice):

  • i still can't believe that crawford contract (7/142). all that loot and years for a LF'r who's entire hitting game revolves around his legs and line-drive power. those triples that raised his value are deceptive as hell to his true power, but it helped him get paid.

    there's also pause about a guy who's ob% is almost totally driven by hits rather than walks. BOS got lucky unloading that crap deal.

  • I think the Cubs take Berry and Soler off playoff roster and add Hammel & Ramirez. Believe Maddon will find Denorfia & Jackson defense too hard to lose.

  • O & B: I like the one-game Wild Card heart attack game, but I'd actually like to see a best two-out-of-three LDS played in the home parks of the two division winners with the best records, and then the LCS as a best two-out-of-three in the home park of the division winner left standing with the best record, and then let's get to the World Series already. 

  • I...don't know. If chanting would help the Cubs beat the Cardinals in the next series or ultimately the World Series I think I'd be ok with it lol. I'm not supportive of saying insulting things to opposing fans or throwing things but loud noise and chanting seems appropriate to me.

    I also grew up in France though and that kind of thing is par for the course at soccer and rugby matches and I love it. I find crowds too passive here.

  • Er, they won the first one. My bad. Carry on.

  • With last night's win in Pittsburgh, the Cubs have tied the Pirates with 98 wins, and are only 2-1/2 games behind the Cardinals. No reason why the Cubs can't finish the post-season with the best winning percentage in baseball (regular season & post-season combined). 

  • BOB: I doubt very much that Matt Szczur will be on the Cubs LDS roster.

    If he wasn't on the Wild Card roster (when the Cubs went with 15 position players), he won't be on the LDS roster (when the Cubs will go with 13 or 14 position players).

    As it is, at least one of the three RH hitting outfielders who were on the Cubs WC roster (Denorfia, Jackson, and Soler) could get bumped off the LDS roster (probably Soler).

  • I want my baseball team to win by playing better baseball. I don't want umps, fields, or fans to have anything to do with it.