Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cubs Still Not Hitting, But Ted is So Good That They Win Anyway

Ted Lilly won't get a win for today's 7 2/3 innings 2 run 6 K 0 BB effort, but I will give him tons of praise here. Once again the team was in a funk and Ted came to the rescue. The only wins the Cubs got this week came when Ted started, and his season ERA is down to 2.94 and I'm elevating him to third pitcher in the ASG status. Matt Cain is the starter and Chad Billingsly is next in line, but Johan Santana got rocked today so Ted jumps him.

The offense was no better today Soriano and Fukudome are problems. Aaron Miles should get a quick DFA. Still there were some real nice signs. Milton got another double, and was driven in by Geovany Soto who had three hits, two of them doubles, and maybe just maybe he is turning it around. Maybe. Derrek Lee got two more hits, and made the key baserunning play in the ninth (more on that in a moment). Lee is the Cubs best hitter and really the only hitter these past few weeks. I was hard on him early in the season because he was awful, but it seems like he woke up and is ready to help the team. 

Ryan Theriot had the game winning hit today, and also had a sac fly early in the game. He is still swinging for the fences too much, but that punch single to right to win the game is what Theriot needs to do most of the time. That is when he has value to the team, not when he is striking out because he wants to hit a homer. 

The entire ninth inning was just a nice sign. First Marmol only walked two guys in that inning, rather than 4 or 5. Then he got both Mauer and Morneau out, something that isn't easy late in games. Then Lee got a hit in the bottom of the inning, and then advanced to third with some solid baserunning on the Soto single. Soto was able to get to second on that play as well, which set up the walk to Fontenot, which wouldn't have happened if Soto stayed on first. Major props to Theriot for getting the big hit that the team couldn't get all week.

Next up is the first White Sox series of the season, I'll put up a preview tomorrow morning. Honestly I don't like Cubs-Sox series because everybody gets overhyped and too worked up over six games that mean nothing. Still most fans like it and it brings a playoff like atmosphere which will hopefully get the Cubs bats going. 

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