A Wild, Wild Win

Game Forty – Cubs 8 Padres 5
WP – Ted Lilly (4-4) LP – Jake Peavy (4-3) Save – None

wflag.jpgLou Piniella’s crew improved to 20-1 in games they score at least 4 runs with an impressive win against Jake Peavy. Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto drove in 6 of the Cubs 8 runs and Kosuke Fukudome added another 3-hit night to his resume. Soriano led off the bottom of the 1st with his third home run in as many games. Soto hit his 7th of the year in the 5th after the Padres cut the Cubs lead to 4-3 in the top of the inning. Aramis Ramirez and Reed Johnson drove in the Cubs other 2 runs. Ryan Theriot added his 18th multi-hit game of the season with a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included a walk and a run scored.

The Cubs beat Jake Peavy for the first time and chased the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner after just 4 innings….his shortest outing of the year. The turning point in the game came in the 2nd inning with two on, two out and Ted Lilly at the plate. Peavy struck out Lilly swinging on a pitch in the dirt, the ball got away from Josh Bard and Lilly hustled to 1st to load the bases. Soriano then delivered with a single to left on a 2-1 pitch that gave the Cubs an early 3-0 lead.

Ted Lilly was very sharp early on. He struck out 5 of the first 8 batters he faced and finished with a season-high 11 strikeouts….and only one walk. Lilly threw first pitch strikes to 20 of the 26 batters he faced and sat down the first 8 Padres batters in order. Lilly was 9-1 a year ago following Cubs’ losses and picked up a big win against one of the elite pitchers in the game….following a disappointing loss on Tuesday.

Kerry Wood made the game extremely interesting in the 9th. Wood loaded the bases, gave up an infield single to Tadahito Iguchi that cut the lead to 8-5. Wood then retired Brian Giles on a fly out to left to end the game.

With the win the Cubs improved to 5-1 on the homestand with 4 left to play.

When the pitching match-ups were announced, the question became would there be any runs scored? After all, both pitchers had a lot of success against the other team….but Wednesday night was anything but a pitchers’ duel….13 total runs on 23 hits.

Alfonso Soriano jump-started the Cubs offense for the second day in a row. After Ted Lilly struck out the side in the top of the 1st, Soriano worked the count to 2-1 on Jake Peavy before depositing his next pitch just to the left of straight away center. Peavy retired the next 3 batters he faced, with 2 strikeouts to end the inning.

Kosuke Fukudome led off the 2nd with a double to straight away center on a 3-2 pitch. Peavy struck out Geovany Soto and Mark DeRosa grounded out to 3rd. Reed Johnson worked a 2-out walk. With Peavy on the mound, it appeared to be a smart move by Johnson but the offensive juggernaut, known as Ted Lilly, was in the on deck circle.

Jake Peavy was given credit for striking out Lilly but was also given credit for throwing a wild pitch. Lilly missed the ball in the dirt and so did Josh Bard. The ball rolled to the backstop and Lilly hustled down the line to load the bases. Alfonso Soriano worked the count once again to 2-1 before depositing a single into left field….Fukudome and Johnson scored.

The Cubs added the all-important 4th run of the game in the 3rd inning. Aramis Ramirez started the inning with a single to center. Kosuke Fukudome followed with a single to center. Ramirez advanced to 3rd. Geovany Soto then delivered a single to left that plated Ramirez….4-0 Cubs. Peavy then struck out DeRosa, Johnson and Lilly to end the inning.

With the Cubs up 4-3 in the 5th, Kosuke Fukudome led off the inning with a single to center. Geovany Soto stepped in and delivered a 2-run shot to center. His 7th of the year gave the Cubs a 6-3 lead.

The Cubs tacked on another run in the 6th with the score 6-4. Ryan Theriot led off the inning with a single to center. Brian Giles robbed Derrek Lee of a hit on a sliding catch in right. Aramis Ramirez followed with a double to the corner in left, Theriot scored from 1st to give the Cubs another 3 run lead.

Mark DeRosa started the 7th with a single to left and advanced to 2nd on a passed ball by Josh Bard. Reed Johnson then doubled to left center to score DeRosa with the Cubs 8th and final run.

The offense scored early and often….an excellent recipe for a victory.

Ted Lilly was in cruise control until the 5th inning. He had allowed only 1 hit and struck out 8 at that point. Justin Huber blooped a single over Ryan Theriot’s head with 1 out for the Padres’ second hit. Josh Bard followed with a single to left. Bud Black lifted Jake Peavy for Edgar Gonzalez. Lilly retired Gonzalez on a deep fly to center for the second out.

Scott Hairston lined an infield single off Lilly’s glove. Lilly saved a run but the Padres loaded the bases. Tadahito Iguchi singled to left to drive in the Padres first two runs. With the tying runs in scoring position and Brian Giles at the plate, Lilly uncorked a wild pitch. Hairston scored to cut the Cubs lead to one….and Lilly reached back and struck out Giles looking to end the inning, with a little help from Geovany Soto. Soto did an excellent job of framing the pitch.

The Padres cut into the Cubs 6-3 lead in the 6th. Lilly hit Adrian Gonzalez to start the inning. Kevin Kouzmanoff double to left center. Kahlil Greene then hit a sacrifice fly into foul ground in left. Alfonso Soriano made a good catch, but Gonzalez scored on the play. Lilly struck out both Justin Huber and Josh Bard to end the inning….and his outing.

Ted Lilly did his job….his team won the game.

Carlos Marmol retired all 6 of the batters he faced with 3 strikeouts in 2 innings of work.

Lou Piniella’s crew beat another elite pitcher with their new-found patience at the plate. They made Peavy work and put themselves in hitter’s counts….and took advantage.

The Cubs will complete the 4-game series with the Padres on Thursday afternoon. Greg Maddux against Ryan Dempster….with Jim Edmonds in centerfield for the Chicago Cubs.

Quote of the Day

"You can be a kid for as long as you want when you play baseball." - Cal Ripken Jr.
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