Saturday, September 19, 2009

Matt Holliday's Walk Off Homer Beats Cubs

There really isn't any other way to say it. Tonight the Cubs received the typical great start from Ted Lilly who worked 7 2/3 innings of 2-run ball before being pulled. The offense came out and scored two runs in the first inning, things looked really good.

A funny thing happened though, Lou Piniella tempted the fates one too many times. First by bringing in Kevin Gregg to face Albert Pujols, and then by bringing in Aaron Heilman to face Matt Holliday. Gregg was able to get Pujols to hit a grounder to shortstop, but Heilman wasn't as successful. He last one batter, Matt Holliday, who lifted a walk off homer to right field. Game over, Lou pays for using his two worst relief pitchers to the two best hitters the Cardinals have.

I'll give Ted Lilly tons of credit, he was awesome tonight and has always been great against St. Louis. His ability to dominate that lineup should give Phillies fans lots of hope should they meet the Cards in the playoffs. Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee are both better left handed pitchers than Ted, and both are looming. That should give St. Louis fans nightmares.

The offense did a good job in the first inning, or more realistically Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez were good. They combined with Kosuke Fukudome to hit three doubles in a row, scoring the only two Cubs runs of the day. It looked good then, but John Smoltz overcame some major fastball issues to pitch a really good game. The Cards bullpen was solid today too aided a bit by our favorite shortstop.

Ryan Theriot went 2-5 today. That was the good. He struck out three times and was picked off first in the ninth to end the inning. That was the bad. Theriot also misplayed a grounder late in the game, something that didn't matter in the outcome but was still frustrating. Not only is Theriot a bad fielder, but his baserunning has become down right horrific and cost his team the game tonight.

No links in the morning, early tailgate and all. They will be back Sunday morning. Enjoy the game tomorrow, though I would advise some college football watching instead.

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