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Open Thread: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks, Friday 5/9, 1:20 CT

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Next Game

Arizona Diamondbacks
@ Chicago Cubs

Friday, May 9, 2008, 1:20 PM CDT
Wrigley Field

Dan Haren vs Ted Lilly

Complete Coverage >


  • Paul Sullivan says Felix Pie could get sent down -- but not for a pitcher. Instead, Andres Torres, who is hitting well at Iowa, could come up to be a bench player.
  • More info on the proposed ISFA/Wrigley Field deal. They say "no tax money" would be used. Others have said a "tax increment financing" deal like this one means that other taxes might have to be raised. I'd like to hear more details about this. Also of interest in that article:
    [Cubs Chairman Crane] Kenney also said the Cubs want to restore Wrigley Field to "its original look," which would include removing exterior chain link fences and concrete panels. The renovations also would include upgraded luxury suites and premium seating behind home plate that would require the destruction of the team's offices.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer joins the Dead-Horse-Beating crowd with yet another rehash of TTTSNBN. However, he does raise a good point:

    The guy whose name came up as part of every potential package for Roberts, pitcher Sean Gallagher, pitched so well at Class AAA Iowa in five starts (2-2, 3.10 ERA, .196 opponents' average) that he was called up to take demoted Rich Hill's place on the roster last weekend.

    Now Gallagher and lefty Sean Marshall -- whose name was in and out of the Roberts rumor mill all winter and spring -- are considered part of the Cubs' much-needed starting depth and options for replacing more veteran guys who are scuffling.

    On top of that, Marshall has been invaluable in a converted lefty short-relief role after rookie Carmen Pignatiello stumbled out of the gate and as the team awaits the return of Scott Eyre this weekend.

Enough. On to baseball this afternoon!

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
T. Lilly
Cubs
vs. Dan Haren
D. Haren
Diamondbacks
2-4 W-L 4-1
5.97 ERA 3.12
29 SO 36
14 BB 8
6 HR 4
vs. Ari -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Ted Lilly 2-4 7 7 0 0 0 0 37.2 39 25 25 6 14 29 5.97 1.41


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Dan Haren 4-1 7 7 0 0 0 0 43.1 35 18 15 4 8 36 3.12 .99

The day that Dan Haren last faced the Cubs, June 10, 2004, was the day that I invented the Tomato Inning, which occurred when I accidentally dropped a piece of tomato on my scorecard:Howard showed up late, with a sandwich of his own from Jimmy John's (I hadn't asked him to bring me one today) and he ceremonially dropped a tomato piece on my scorecard, right in the fifth inning.

You're saying, no, the Cubs scored the ten runs in the fourth inning, and you'd be right.

But by the time they reached the tomato square, which was at Derrek Lee's position, they had already batted around, and Lee's homer was the tenth run of the inning, and the square that I scored this in, was in exactly that place, in the fifth inning.

So, Howard and I are now completely convinced of the Tomato Luck.

The Tomato Inning worked pretty well through 2004 -- the Cubs didn't always win the game, but they did always score in the Tomato Inning. Perhaps we'll have a ceremonial drop today. In that inning, D-Lee, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Zambrano, the only Cubs still on the team who played that day, all got hits. Alfonso Soriano is 5-for-13 (2 HR) vs. Haren in their time together in the AL.

When Ted Lilly last faced the Diamondbacks, this is what happened:


via chicagotribune.com

You can see Chris Young rounding the bases after his NLDS Game Two HR and Lilly about to slam his glove down. That enduring image is, unfortunately, one of the memorable ones from last year's NLDS. It was the first hit Young had off Lilly, who threw six decent innings against Arizona last August 25 at Phoenix. After a tough start Lilly is 2-1, 2.84 in his last three starts.

Today's game is on WGN and Fox Sports Arizona. The D'backs are in the forefront of what I think will become a trend among all teams -- all their games are on FSAZ this year, no broadcast outlet. More at the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Today's overflow comment thread will post at 2:45 pm CT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.