Back in the Win Column

Game Seventy-Eight – Cubs 7 Orioles 4
WP – Ted Lilly (8-5) LP – Matt Albers (3-3) Save – Kerry Wood (20)

wflag.jpgThe final score should read, “Chicago Cubs 7 Jay Payton 4” because that was the only two mistakes Ted Lilly made all night. After starting the season 0-4, Ted Lilly won his 8th game of the year despite the fact he gave up two more home runs….both 2-run shots to Jay Payton. Lilly surrendered 3 other hits with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks in 7 innings and has won his last five decisions at the Friendly Confines.

Carlos Marmol struck out the last 2 batters he faced and appeared much more confident on the mound than in recent outings while Kerry Wood was simply dominant in the 9th. Wood earned his 10th straight save and struck out the side in the 9th on just 13 pitches. Wood hit 98, 94 and 97 MPH on the gun on each of the swinging strikeouts. Marmol and Wood struck out the last 5 batters of the game.

Jim Edmonds hit his 6th home run in a Cubs uniform and his 4th in as many games. Edmonds had another great game at the plate….1-for-2 with 2 runs scored, a home run, 2 RBI’s and 3 walks. Aramis Ramirez drove in the eventual winning run on his 30th birthday and Derrek Lee added a single in 4 trips to the plate with 2 runs scored. Geovany Soto finished the night 2-for-3 with 3 RBI’s.

The Cubs scored 6 of their 7 runs in the first 2 innings of the game and almost batted around twice while sending 17 to the plate. The offense pounded out 12 hits and walked 10 times but left 14 on base. The final score was much closer than it needed to be, as Lou Piniella’s crew could not add to their lead in the last 4 innings of the game.

The Cubs improved to 33-9 at Wrigley Field and did a good job of bouncing back from the tough loss on Tuesday. The Cubs are once again 20 games over .500 with a 49-29 record….

With Kosuke Fukudome being a late scratch because of tightness in his left calf, Lou Piniella tinkered and found one that worked. The entire lineup contributed to the win and the only one of the starting nine that did not record a hit was Eric Patterson….Ted Lilly actually recorded the first multi hit game of his career and should have added a RBI if not for a base running gaffe by Mike Fontenot.

Ryan Theriot, on the other hand, recorded his 30th multi hit game of the season and jump- started the offense with a 1-out double in the 1st inning. Derrek Lee followed with an infield single and if not for a good play by Brian Roberts on a ball hit up the middle, would have driven in the game’s first run. Lee reached and setup a chance for Aramis Ramirez with runners on 1st and 3rd.

The RBI Machine came through once again. Ramirez singled to left and drove in Theriot with his 55th RBI of the season. Jim Edmonds walked to load the bases….and Matt Albers was lifted for Lance Cormier.

Albers left with what was diagnosed as right shoulder stiffness.

Geovany Soto followed and worked the count to 3-2 before he hit a hard one-hop liner past Alex Cintron at short. Lee and Ramirez scored on the single to left and both Edmonds and Soto advanced to 2nd and 3rd on the throw to the plate….it was a very good, aggressive call by Mike Quade to send Ramirez to the plate.

Mark DeRosa then singled to right and drove in Edmonds with the Cubs’ 4th run of the inning. The Cubs scored 4 runs on 5 hits with a walk in the 1st inning.

Ryan Theriot started another 1-out rally in the 2nd with a single to right. Derrek Lee walked after a wild pitch by Cormier advanced Theriot to 2nd base. Ramirez lined a single to left but Theriot had to hold. With the bases loaded and 1 out, Jim Edmonds grounded into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, Theriot scored….5-2 Cubs. Geovany Soto singled to center on the first pitch from Cormier, Lee scored….6-2 Cubs.

The 7th and final run of the game came off the bat of Jim Edmonds in the 4th inning. Edmonds hit a solo shot into the basket in right center. As mentioned, his 6th as a Cub in his last 28 games.

Wednesday’s win improved the Cubs record in Interleague play to 6-5 with 4 games remaining.

The entire team did a good job of recovering from the streak ending loss on Tuesday….especially with the lineup that Lou Piniella was forced to use. Piniella said after the game that Fukudome is listed as day to day and it is unlikely he will play on Thursday in the series finale.

Jason Marquis is slated to face Radhames Liz on Thursday afternoon….on getaway day.

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt