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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  • They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?

    QuietMan 6 min 4 sec ago view
  • Regarding Heyward--

    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

    What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.

    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 6 min 42 sec ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

    I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.

    Seriously.

    VirginiaPhil 13 min 9 sec ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 16 min 41 sec ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 20 min 17 sec ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 29 min 13 sec ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 31 min 5 sec ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 36 min 51 sec ago view
  • QuietMan 44 min 49 sec ago view
  • I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.

    Rob Richardson 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.

    The E-Man 1 hour 42 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • I hope they hold onto Jimenez. Outfield depth is questionable, especially with McKinney, who struggled this year but still, gone.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 37 min ago view
  • You don't think he's improved? He looks completely different out there than he did when he first came up. The last I checked his K rate was in the low 20% range - 22-23 or so. When he came up it was 40%+.

    To me, what is scary about him if I'm the other guy is that he IS learning the strike zone. This guy could easily be the MVP someday.

    Old and Blue 2 hours 38 min ago view
  • So, playing .500 for the rest of the year puts them at 91 wins. You would think there is enough talent to do a little better than that, right?

    The E-Man 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • First team to 60 wins! Onward to 70, 80, 90 and 100!

    billybucks 11 hours 27 min ago view