Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lilly wins for the 6th time at Wrigley; Cubs prepare for doubleheader

Saturday: Cubs 5, Cardinals 2

The Cubs got the win they needed behind All-Star Ted Lilly and his '08 Dempster-like ability to dominate at home. He's now 6-1 at home with an ERA under two, while his ERA on the road is 4.66. The win was the 100th of Lilly's career, making him the second Cubs' starter to earn his 100th victory this season (joining Carlos Zambrano, who accomplished the feat June 5).

The biggest lowlight of the game was Derrek Lee leaving due to neck spasms. He dealt with this issue earlier in the season, and while it's good that the All-Star break is just one day away, the Cubs could certainly use Lee in the lineup for today's doubleheader.

While Lee contributed to the offense on Saturday with a double and a run, Jeff Baker was the one cooking up the most problems for the Cardinals. Baker was 0-for-5 as a Cub heading into the game, but went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and a walk to earn the love of Wrigley's fans. His most impressive moment, though, was a double play he turned with a barehanded catch-and-throw at second.

Soriano went 1-for-3 with a walk, and saw more pitches (20) than any other Cubs batter. And Ryan Theriot's 2-for-3 day raised his average to .297, bringing him within shouting distance of being the only Cub with a .300 batting average (other than Ramirez, who has played in just 23 games).

Marmol made things interesting once again (and how is his ERA just 3.73?), and Gregg had to come in to clean things up. While it's unfortunate that Lou had to use both of them on the day before a doubleheader, Lilly did the Cubs a huge favor by going eight innings.

Will Cubs go after Ryan?

As Jim Hendry scours the trade market and waiver wire for potential help, here's hoping he will take a look at recently released B.J. Ryan. The left-handed reliever signed a huge deal in 2006, but has battled injuries this year and the Blue Jays released him Wednesday. He will clear waivers Monday, at which point the Cubs might take a look. The Jays are on the hook for his contract both this year and next, so signing him to a minor league deal would require a commitment of only the major league minimum salary. Considering the low risk and high upside, it's worth looking into.

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