Results tagged ‘ Ted Lilly ’

7/10 Probable pitchers

Looking ahead to the Cubs’ post-All-Star break series against the Phillies, which begins Thursday at Wrigley Field, the rotation will be Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, Tom Gorzelanny and Carlos Silva. The Cubs wanted to split the two left-handers, Lilly and Gorzelanny, and were able to do that. But they also want to give Silva as much time as possible. He is expected to make his start Sunday against the Dodgers and would not pitch again until July 19.

– Carrie Muskat

7/10 Lou: "You can't rope a dope it"

Lou Piniella remains optimistic but realistically, the Cubs will have to stage a miracle comeback to get back in the race in the NL Central. Not being in contention usually means teams start moving their players this time of year in preparation for next season.

“That’s not my department so I don’t think too much about that,” Piniella said. “I think about our team playing good on the field and winning baseball games.”

This is the first time in Piniella’s career as a manager that his team is more in a sell mode than buy.

“In Tampa Bay, we never had anybody to move,” Piniella said. “In Seattle, we had competitive teams and the first three years here, we were in the mix. This would be something new. I don’t know what we’re going to do. Jim [Hendry] and I have not talked about it.”

The trade talk heated up Friday with the Seattle Mariners sending Cliff Lee to Texas.

“The amazing thing about it is we win the last two games, and we’re eight games out of first place,” Piniella said. “The teams in front are giving us opportunities. It’s just a question of taking advantage of it. There are teams trying to add and some teams trying to subtract. I don’t know where we’re at.”

The Cubs still have a half season to go.

“There’s a lot of baseball to be played,” Piniella said. “Put it this way, you can’t rope a dope it. You’ve got to play. There’s just too many games left.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/9 Lilly & Lee – what's next?

If this was one of Ted Lilly’s last games with the Cubs, it was one he won’t want to remember. Lilly struggled with his mechanics and was pulled after 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, in the Cubs’ 9-7 loss to the Dodgers Friday night. He gave up seven runs — five earned — on seven hits and two walks. In his last two starts, he’s given up 16 runs over 10 1/3 innings.

“I feel healthy, just not happy,” Lilly said. “The only thing that doesn’t feel good is the way the ball’s coming out. There’s a few things I need to do to make that happen mechanically. Whatever it is, I need to figure it out.”

The left-hander, who will be a free agent after this season, has been mentioned in trade rumors by teams searching for starting pitching, especially now that Cliff Lee has been traded from Seattle to Texas. Lilly’s record isn’t reflective of how he’s done as he’s received an average of 2.31 runs of support per staff, the lowest mark in baseball.

“I’ve got my hands full just getting guys out,” Lilly said of all the gossip. “I’m busy doing that. I’ve got to go out and get hitters out regardless of anything else that’s going on around me and that’s it.”

Lilly will have a long All-Star break to think about Friday’s game.

“You give up seven or eight runs in three innings and put your team in a real tough position,” he said. “Their pitching is pretty good. Then we score seven runs. You look at it and think if I could’ve done a few things differently and held it together a little more, maybe we’re still playing right now.

“There’s a lot of second guessing and self reflection that goes on at a time like this,” he said.

There’s also the nasty rumors swirling around. Maybe that was the problem with Lilly?

“It’s a possibility,” Marlon Byrd said. “It can affect you mentally. [Lilly] is a professional and he’s never going to let it show. But it can start creeping in there.”

* First baseman Derrek Lee also will be a free agent after this season and his name also has been mentioned as possible trade bait. He does have a full no-trade clause and would have to approve a move. Would he consider it?

“That’s something I’ll have to think about if it happens, if it gets to that point,” Lee said.

The Cubs had hoped that at this point in the season, they would be considering adding help for the stretch run.

“It’s not good news,” Lee said of the rumors, “because it means you’re not doing your job.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/9 Ted Lilly's night

Friday was Ted Lilly’s shortest start of the season and shortest since Sept. 5, 2008, when he went two innings against Cincinnati. He gave up seven runs, five earned, on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings. He’s been mentioned in trade rumors by teams looking for starting pitching help and his record, which will be 3-8 if the Cubs lose, isn’t reflective of his efforts. He’s received an average of 2.31 runs of support per staff, the lowest mark in baseball.

– Carrie Muskat

7/9 Trade market is open

With Cliff Lee being traded Friday from Seattle to Texas, other players such as Ted Lilly now become the focus. Lilly, 34, is a free agent after this season and has been reportedly linked to a few teams, including the Mets. He has about $5.6 million remaining on his contract and was projected as a Type A free agent.

Cubs GM Jim Hendry wasn’t sure if his cell phone will ring more now that Lee has been dealt.

“The industry will be fairly active the next couple weeks,” Hendry said Friday. “[Lee] was just such a big name. I think anybody who was in the hunt and needed a starter had to throw their hat in there even if they knew it was going to cost them a lot of talent back.”

The Cubs began play Friday 10 1/2 games back in the National League Central and Hendry finds himself not looking for immediate help as he has in past years approaching the trading deadline.

“I like the action of July, I don’t think that’s been any secret,” Hendry said. “When we’re close and have been in the lead, I think it’s a good thing for the players to know the front office can deliver somebody who can help, een if it wasn’t a huge deal.”

One of the best deals the Cubs made, Hendry said, was acquiring catcher Jason Kendall in 2007. Kendall may have been bumped that year in the playoffs by Geovany Soto but his experience helped the team.

“I don’t think we would’ve won the division if we didn’t get him,” Hendry said. “His numbers don’t reflect that but he brought something to the clubhouse for a month or two.”

The Cubs do have some hefty contracts still on the books heading into 2011, with more than $103 million in salary obligations already committed for next year and more than $62 million for 2012.

“Anything we will do, we’ll try to set us up better for the future,” Hendry said about possible moves. “We’re not ever going into a season thinking we’re not going to contend. In my mind, we should be in contention now, we just didn’t get it done.

“That being said, we’re starting to get better young players coming up in the system,” he said. “It’s not like we’re going to overhaul the program and think we’re going to be young for a couple years and can’t win. We’re going to go into it to get ready for next season thinking we’re going to contend again.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/9 Lineup vs. Dodgers

Both Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro were given Friday off. Here’s the Cubs’ lineup for Game 2 vs. the Dodgers:

RF Fukudome

2B Theriot

1B Lee

3B Ramirez

CF Byrd

LF Colvin

SS Fontenot

C Hill

P Lilly

– Carrie Muskat

7/4 Numbers game

The Reds outscored the Cubs 30-8 in the four-game series, taking three of the four games. Of the 30 runs, 17 came in the seventh inning, and 23 came in the seventh or later.

Here are some other ugly numbers:

* Ted Lilly gave up a career-tying nine runs on a career-high 11 hits. He also gave up a season-high four home runs. He has given up four or more homers three times in his career (also June 11, 2003, vs. Atlanta, and April 8, 2009, at Houston).

* The Cubs served up seven homers Sunday, the most since giving up seven July 10, 2008, to the Reds in Cincinnati. How good were things going for the Reds? Joey Votto was ejected in the first inning after arguing balls and strikes, and his replacement, Paul Janish, goes 4-for-4 with three runs, a homer and three RBIs.

* Derrek Lee finished the homestand 3-for-25 (.120) with one extra base hit.

* Ryan Theriot went 4-for-18 (.222) on the homestand with a double. He now has as many extra base hits (eight) as times he’s grounded into double plays.

* The Cubs now are 1-10 in their last 11 series, and have not won consecutive games since June 16-17 when they took two against Oakland. They have not won two in a row against a National League team since May 16-19. It’s the last week before the All-Star break.

“What do we need? We need to hit, we need to pitch,” Lou Piniella said after Sunday’s game. “For the first seven innings of these games, they’re close and then they open up and sped by us. We need to score some runs.”

The Cubs haven’t quit.

“There’s no give up on this team,” Marlon Byrd said. “We’re just not winning. Once we figure out how to do that we’ll be fine.”

– Carrie Muskat

7/4 Lineup & Ramirez update

Aramis Ramirez was not in the lineup for the second day and apparently his left thumb injury has flared up again.

“The trainer came to me [Saturday] and said [Ramirez] had a little swelling in the meat portion of his hand and he suggested we give him a little breather and that’s what we’re doing,” Lou Piniella said.

How long will Ramirez be sidelined?

“Whenever he’s ready to go, we’ll get him back in there,” Piniella said.

Here’s Sunday’s lineup:

2B Theriot

SS Castro

1B Lee

CF All-Star Marlon Byrd

RF Colvin

LF Soriano

3B Fontenot

C Soto

P Lilly

– Carrie Muskat

7/4 Cubs' near no-no's

Randy Wells had a no-hitter through six innings Saturday and Ted Lilly went eight innings without giving up a hit against the White Sox on June 13. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time since 2004 that two Cubs starting pitchers reached the seventh inning without giving up a hit in games played at Wrigley Field in the same season. Matt Clement went 6 1/3 innings without allowing a hit against the Mets on April 25, 2004, (Karim Garcia broke it up with a home run) and Carlos Zambrano also went 6 1/3 innings without giving up a  hit against the Brewers on Aug, 23, 2004 (broken up by a Geoff Jenkins double).

– Carrie Muskat

7/1 Zambrano update

The Cubs aren’t sure whether Carlos Zambrano will need to make any rehab outings before he rejoins the team sometime after the All-Star break. He began evaluation and treatment for anger issues Wednesday in New York with doctors selected by Major League Baseball and the Players Association. He was not expected back with the Cubs until after the July 13 game, and when he does return, he will be in the bullpen, not the rotation.

“We haven’t gotten that far,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said about possible rehab outings. “I would think he would need to go pitch somewhere. It’ll be three weeks — that’s a long time. I would think he’ll need a little work. That subject hasn’t been brought up yet.”

Ted Lilly did talk to Zambrano earlier this week by phone. Piniella planned to reach out to the pitcher at some point.

“Time will heal wounds,” Piniella said. “I think it was a very good idea to wait until after the All-Star break before he came in and addressed the team. That’s two weeks from now and I think things will quiet down a lot. I think the players will accept Carlos as a teammate.”

Zambrano was sent home after a tantrum in the dugout June 25 at U.S. Cellular Field when he accused his teammates of not playing behind him. He was suspended for three days without pay and then placed on the restricted list.

– Carrie Muskat

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