Game Thirty-Five – Cubs 3 Diamondbacks 1
WP – Ted Lilly (3-4) LP – Dan Haren (4-2) Save – Kerry Wood (6)
Chris Young picked up where he left off last October against Ted Lilly, with a home run, but this time Lilly reacted entirely different. Instead of slamming his glove to the turf, he shut the door on the explosive Diamondbacks’ offense. Ted Lilly tossed a gem, without a doubt his best outing of the year. After serving up Young’s dinger with 2 outs in the 1st inning, Lilly did not allow another run over his last 6 1/3 innings, surrendered only 2 more hits and struck out a season-high 10 batters.
Not only did Lilly give his skipper a solid outing on the mound, he also ended the Cubs’ scoreless drought with a 2-out RBI single in the 5th inning. Mark DeRosa started the rally with a big 2-out double ahead of an intentional walk to Reed Johnson and the RBI single by Ted Lilly. Alfonso Soriano followed with a double down the left field line that drove in Johnson with the eventual winning run. Derrek Lee gave the Cubs a much-needed insurance run with his 9th home run of the year in the bottom of the 8th.
Carlos Marmol gave up a lead off single to Augie Ojeda in the 8th but an interference call on Eric Byrnes following a swinging strikeout changed the inning. Marmol ended up facing the minimum and Kerry Wood retired the side in the 9th on 9 pitches, all strikes, for the save.
Lou Piniella said after the game, “Not only did he do it with his left arm, but with the bat also. Just a big hit. This was a good win for us, a good win to start the homestand.” Ted Lilly mentioned, after his impressive win against the Diamondbacks, that he felt it was his responsibility to keep up with the other pitcher….and not only did Lilly keep up he out pitched one of the best in the National League. Lilly put his rough start to the season behind him on Friday afternoon with arguably his best outing as a Cub.
Lilly did not allow the Young home run to get under his skin this time. He retired Conor Jackson on a fly out to shallow right to end the 1st inning. Lilly worked around a 2-out single by Chris Snyder in the 2nd and a 2-out triple to center by Stephen Drew in the 3rd. Reed Johnson tried to make a diving catch but misjudged the ball and it rolled to the warning track before Kosuke Fukudome was able to track it down. Lilly struck out Chris Young to end the inning.
After a leadoff walk to Conor Jackson in the 4th, Lilly retired the next three batters on strikeouts….all of the swinging variety. The first 1-2-3 inning for Lilly came in the 5th and he retired 8 in a row before issuing a 2-out walk to Jackson in the 6th. Lilly retired the D’Backs in order in the 7th.
Lilly threw 104 pitches on the afternoon, 67 were for strikes.
Carlos Marmol started his outing by giving up a leadoff single to Augie Ojeda. Kosuke Fukudome made a good play on the ball to hold Ojeda to a single and changed the course of the inning….and the game. Marmol fell behind Eric Byrnes, 2-0, before striking him out swinging on a 3-2 pitch. Ojeda was running with the pitch and appeared to steal 2nd base rather easily. Geovany Soto’s throw was very high and to the 1st base side of the bag. Interference was called on Byrnes by home plate umpire Ted Barrett….Ojeda was called out and Marmol retired Stephen Drew on a pop out to shallow right.
Kerry Wood threw first pitch strikes to all three batters he faced….struck out Chris Young to start the inning on 3 pitches and retired Jackson and Justin Upton on groundouts to Ryan Theriot at short.
Dan Haren really handcuffed the Cubs offense. An infield single by Mark DeRosa in 3rd inning was all the Cubs offense could manage until DeRosa’s 2-out double in the 5th. DeRosa’s two bagger was the first ‘clean‘ hit of the game for the Cubs. Reed Johnson was intentionally walked but Dan Haren could not retire Ted Lilly.
Lilly helped his own cause, as they say, with a solid single to center. DeRosa scored the tying run and Lilly now has a 2-game hitting streak. Alfonso Soriano followed with a solid double down the left field line on the first pitch from Haren. Johnson scored and that was all Lilly would need.
After Derrek Lee’s solo home run to left center in the 8th. The Cubs loaded the bases after a walk to Aramis Ramirez, a single by Kosuke Fukudome and a 2-out walk by Mark DeRosa. Reed Johnson struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the inning.
Friday was a big win for Lou Piniella’s crew.
Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face the D’Backs hot, young rookie Max Scherzer in game two of the series on Saturday afternoon.