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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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 35 min ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 16 hours 22 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 17 hours 5 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 17 hours 16 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 17 hours 22 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 17 hours 26 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 17 hours 37 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 17 hours 43 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 17 hours 58 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 17 hours 59 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 20 hours 50 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 23 hours 23 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 23 hours 55 min ago view