Game Eighteen – Cubs 5 Brewers 1
WP – Ted Lilly (1-0) LP – Doug Davis (0-2) Save – None
Ted Lilly returned a week earlier than many thought and tossed six innings of shutout ball against the Milwaukee Brewers. Lilly struggled with his command early but settled down and allowed only three hits to the high-powered Brewers’ offense. Lilly walked two and struck out four on 78 pitches, 50 for strikes. Lilly struck out Prince Fielder three times and retired Milwaukee in order on just six pitches in his final inning of work.
The deliberate Doug Davis mystified the Cubs offense once again. Marlon Byrd delivered another two-out RBI. Byrd plated Jeff Baker with two outs in the third, the eventual game winner … 12 of Byrd’s 14 RBI this season have come on two-out hits.
Aramis Ramirez broke a 0-for-21 slump with a bloop two-out single in the sixth. Byrd scored and gave Lilly and the bullpen a little breathing room.
John Grabow replaced Lilly in the seventh and had trouble recording outs … as well as throwing strikes. Grabow served up a leadoff single to Corey Hart then issued a one-out walk to George Kottaras. Derrek Lee made a nice pick on a ball hit in the hole by Craig Counsell to force Kottaras at second.
With the Cubs up 2-0 with two on and two outs in the seventh, Lou Piniella went to his pen for Carlos Zambrano.
Big Z made his first relief appearance since 2002 and got out of the jam after throwing only two pitches. An obviously amped-up Zambrano missed on his first offering. Z then jammed Rickie Weeks and got the Brewers’ second baseman to check his swing and hit a weak grounder up the first base line … Zambrano fielded the ball and tossed to Lee to end the inning.
Corey Hart drove in the Brewers lone run in the eighth off of Carlos Zambrano. Zambrano picked up the hold on Saturday night.
The Cubs tacked on three big insurance runs in the eighth. Geovany Soto singled in Aramis Ramirez with the bases loaded for the Cubs’ third run. Carlos Zambrano hit for himself and just missed a grand slam. Zambrano hit a sacrifice fly to right that drove in Soriano with the fourth run. Zambrano swung so hard he lost his shoe at the plate …
Ryan Theriot plated Jeff Baker with a single to right … the Cubs’ fifth and final run of the game.
Cubs pitching has held the Brewers’ offense to just two runs in the first two games … Milwaukee scored 47 runs in their previous four games.
Lou Piniella’s crew won back-to-back games for the second time this year and improved to 8-10 on the season … Saturday night was all about Ted Lilly … and ‘The Bulldog‘ did not disappoint. Lilly appeared to get stronger as the game wore on. If he was not returning from the DL, Lilly would have longer than the six innings.
Lilly scattered three hits: a single by Ryan Braun in the first … a double by Casey McGehee to lead off the second … and a lead off single in the fifth by Alcides Escobar. Lilly walked batters in the third and fifth and that was it.
Jeff Baker led off the third and ripped Doug Davis’ first pitch off the wall in left. Geovany Soto struck out swinging after Baker’s double and Lilly looked at strike three. Ryan Theriot walked with two outs and extended the inning for Marlon Byrd.
Byrd delivered again. He singled to left on a 1-1 offering from Davis … Baker scored, 1-0 Cubs.
Derrek Lee walked to load the bases and it looked like the Cubs were on the verge of a big inning. Xavier Nady was ahead in the count 3-0 before eventually striking out swinging to end the inning. Davis went back to the wind up in order to retire Nady.
Doug Davis retired seven in a row at that point in route to his longest outing of the year.
Marlon Byrd was right in the middle of the action again in the sixth. Byrd doubled off the wall in right center to start the inning. After Derrek Lee struck out, Xavier Nady flied out to right … Byrd actually broke for third on the pitch and had the bag stolen.
Aramis Ramirez ended his 0-for-21 slump with a bloop single to right just past a diving Rickie Weeks. Byrd scored … 2-0 Cubs.
Aramis Ramirez worked a one-out walk in the eighth against Chris Narveson. Alfonso Soriano singled to left center on a 0-2 pitch. Jeff Baker walked to load the bases.
Geovany Soto then lined a 2-2- pitch into center. Ramirez scored the Cubs third run. Carlos Zambrano hit for himself and hit a sacrifice fly to right on a 2-2 pitch that almost left the yard. Soriano scored, 4-0 Cubs.
Ryan Theriot ripped a 1-1 pitch into right and plated Baker with the Cubs’ fifth run.
Sean Marshall gave up a one-out bunt single to Jody Gerut before Piniella brought in Carlos Marmol to face Rickie Weeks and Jim Edmonds. Weeks struck out looking and Edmonds stuck out swinging to end the game.
Randy Wells and Dave Bush will square off for the second time this season on Sunday afternoon.