Game Eleven – Cubs 0 Reds 1
WP – Kyle Lohse (1-0) LP – Ted Lilly (1-1) Save – David Weathers (5)
Ted Lilly threw a gem but came out on the losing end of a 1-0 ballgame. Lilly gave up just 2 hits and a walk to Brandon Phillips in the 4th inning that was the difference in the game. Lilly struck out 10 Reds in his 6 innings of work, including 5 of the last 8 he faced. Michael Wuertz was very impressive in relief but the Cubs could not break through in the 6th inning against Kyle Lohse, who had a career day. Lohse struck out 12, a career high, and walked just one, Derrek Lee. Of the 4 Cub hits, 3 were by Ryan Theriot who was 3-4 on the day.
Ryan Dempster retired the Reds in order for the second day in a row in the 9th but the Cubs could not mount a comeback against Mike Stanton and David Weathers. Ted Lilly unfortunately was on the wrong end of a game that was dominated by both pitching staffs. The only threat on the day from the Cubs came in the 6th inning. Alfonso Soriano doubled down the 3rd base line to lead off the inning but was held at 3rd by Mike Quade on a single to center by Ryan Theriot….granted the heart of the Cubs lineup was due up but they had not done much against Lohse to that point. With runners on 1st and 3rd with no out, Jacque Jones struck out swinging and looked very bad in the process. Derrek Lee struck out looking on very close calls on the outer part of the plate. Home plate umpire Doug Eddings gave Lohse (and Lilly) the outside part of the plate all afternoon and Lohse used it to his advantage. Lohse struck out Lee on consecutive pitches that appeared to hit the black, Lee argued as he walked back to the dugout. Michael Barrett took Lohse’s first offering down the right field line, but it went foul and he eventually flied out to right to end the threat.
Ted Lilly sat the Reds down in order in the 1st inning and gave up just one hit (Ken Griffey Jr.) until the 4th inning. Brandon Phillips walked to lead off the inning, stole 2nd and scored on a single to left by Jeff Conine on a 3-2 count. The inning ended with Lilly striking out Edwin Encarnacion on a foul tip that appeared to hit the handle of his bat, Barrett caught it for strike three and Encarnacion claimed he was hit, lost his temper, tossed his helmet but was not ejected from the game. Lilly retired the last 8 Reds he faced and Cubs pitching retired the last 17 on the day.
Ted Lilly cannot pitch any better than he did and along with Michael Wuertz and Ryan Dempster struck out a combined 13 hitters with just one walk.
The Reds returned the favor from Saturday and shutout the Cubs for the first time this season. Kyle Lohse won is first career start at Wrigley and did so in an impressive fashion. Lohse showed excellent command and allowed the Cubs to record back-to-back hits just once in the game.
Sunday was just one of those games teams lose during a 162-game schedule. They did not play poorly, the game was just dominated by pitching. While days like these do happen, they must be able to win contests like last Friday and the two other times this season the bullpen was unable to hold the lead.
The Cubs will play their first night game at Wrigley of the season against the San Diego Padres and Clay Hensley with Jason Marquis scheduled to take the hill for the Cubs. The Cubs offense has to “kick-it into gear” against a very good Padres staff. The Cubs hit just one home run in the first week at Wrigley and several reports have indicated Aramis Ramirez is looking to be in the lineup on Monday night.