Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008, 1:20 PM CDT
Nelson Figueroa vs Ted Lilly
Cautionary tale: twenty-eight years ago today, Barry Foote hit a walkoff grand slam and the Cubs beat the Cardinals 16-12 on what still is the warmest April day in Chicago history. It was 92 degrees, and people walked out of Wrigley Field like the Cubs had just won the pennant. Their record was 6-3; they got to 11-6 on May 3 and were tied for first place.
That team lost 98 games. That's why you don't worry about teams like this year's Cardinals. St. Louis won't lose 98 games, but they're not a first-place team, either.
And whenever you worry about Cubs pitching, remember this story from Japan:A high school in Japan forfeited a baseball game after they surrendered 66 runs in less than two innings, according to Japanese media [last] Thursday.
The coach of the school gave up to save his pitcher's health after his team went down 66-0 with one out in the bottom of the second inning. The pitcher had already thrown 250 pitches, allowing 26 runs in the first inning and another 40 in the second before the coach of the Kawamoto Technical High School threw in the towel.
Now, let's sweep this mini-series.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2008 - Ted Lilly||0-3||4||4||0||0||0||0||18.2||25||19||19||4||7||14||9.16||1.71|
|2008 - Nelson Figueroa||1-0||4||2||0||0||0||0||15.0||7||6||6||1||5||14||3.60||.80|
Ted Lilly needs to get his act together -- now. He threw better in his last start, but on a day when the wind will be blowing out, he'd better keep the ball down. Only two current Mets have more than 10 lifetime AB vs. Lilly (Carlos Delgado, 3-for-14 and Luis Castillo, 4-for-12). He's handled Jose Reyes (0-for-4) and David Wright (0-for-3) the only game he faced them last year.
Despite being out of the major leagues for four years, Nelson Figueroa has actually faced several current Cubs. Aramis Ramirez, hot again, is 3-for-6 with a HR off Figueroa. Figueroa will be 34 next month, is a great story, but likely to come back to Earth soon... today would be a good time. I'd like to see Felix Pie get a start today against Figueroa.
Today's game is on cable in Chicago and New York and on EI and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.
MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)
MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)
Baseball-reference.com game preview
Discuss amongst yourselves.