Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ted Lilly is the Man, Derrek Lee too

Ted Lilly has been the recipient of some Randy Wells like luck recently, but today he was so good that even an abysmal offense couldn't stop him. Ted went eight innings gave up no runs and allowed only four hits while striking out five and walking none. He lowered his season ERA to 3.17 and tied Wells for the team lead in wins with 10.

The sole offense of the day was provided by Derrek Lee who hit a two run homer in the fourth inning. The rest of the offense was really bad today, no other way to say it. It has been the thing that has plagued this team all season and even Wrigley Field can't solve it everyday.

Carlos Marmol came in to close out the game in the ninth and was able to work around a hit and a walk to end the game. The control wasn't the greatest today and he was going to his slider too much again especially in the last at bat to Geoff Blum. I felt that Blum actually missed a great pitch to hit twice in that at bat so the Cubs should consider themselves lucky to have won this game. 

You would like to see way more runs scored against a pitcher like Felipe Paulino, but with Soriano, Ramirez, and the struggling Ryan Theriot getting the day off that might have been asking too much. Andres Blanco returned from the "DL" today and was able to hit a double while playing some really good shortstop. It amazes me to see a real defensive shortstop play for the Cubs every once in while. Too bad Blanco can't hit major league pitching otherwise we might have something there.

The homestand that was supposed to save our season and put us back in the race turned out to be the worst case scenario I presented earlier.  A 5-4 record against the Nationals, Mets, and Astros is really unacceptable for a team that thinks they are going to make the playoffs. Tomorrow's game against the White Sox provides a chance to make the trip to Wrigley look a bit more respectable, but really it's just too little too late. 

Pretty soon Lou is going to have to make some interesting decisions about playing time. He has already given Koyie Hill the majority of the catching time the rest of the season, but I will be interested to see what happens with some other guys. Clearly Soriano could be shut down for the rest of the season, but I doubt he would agree to that. It would allow Jake Fox to play full time so we can see how good he really is. 

Aramis Ramirez could also be shut down to rest his shoulder more if the Cubs wanted too. That would allow Fox to get more reps at third, as well as put a final tag on Mike Fontenot. Pitching wise I still want Randy Wells shut down and Samardzija put in the rotation. Rich Harden might need to get shut down soon as well because his arm is seriously tempting the injury gods at this point.

It should be interesting to see who gets to play as the season rolls on. This upcoming road trip to New York and Pittsburgh will hopefully put the final nail in the season so Lou can prepare for next season. 

1 comment:

  1. The man or men indeed. Perfect way to describe them.