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The Molina-Lilly Rematch: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Tuesday 5/19, 7:15 CT

This is Ted Lilly's first appearance vs. the Cardinals this season, and thus his first time at Busch Stadium since he barreled over Yadier Molina last September 10. Ted was out on the play, but the Cubs won anyway, 4-3, despite Kerry Wood making it close by allowing a HR to Ryan Ludwick. It was one of Ted's best starts of 2008 (eight innings, five hits, no walks, one run allowed); he's rumored to be following it up by parting the Mississippi River near St. Louis with his bare hands.

That's an awfully suspicious look on Joel Piñeiro's face (below). What is he looking at?

This morning, BCB reader IVYHopesDreams wondered why David Patton is still on the roster. Bruce Miles elaborates and asks why do the Cubs have 12 pitchers if they are only going to use 11 of them?

The guy the Cubs are trying to hide here is rookie David Patton, the Rule 5 kid out of Colorado they obtained at the winter meetings in a trade with the Reds. Having Patton on the roster would be all well and good if the Cubs were actually going to use him. As it is, Patton hasn't appeared in a game since May 9 at Milwaukee, when he gave up 3 hits, 1 walk and 2 runs in two-thirds of an inning. Before that, Patton pitched May 5 and May 1. Since the 9th, he's warmed up, but he hasn't gotten into a game.

This seems unfair to Patton, who hadn't pitched above Class A ball until this year and who needs the work, both to stay sharp and to rebuild the confidence he had in spring training, when he wowed the Cubs and made the team.

Bruce suggests calling up Jake Fox. Fox doesn't have a position he can play, but at least he can hit. Jose Ascanio could go back to Iowa if the Cubs want to keep Patton, or maybe they can make a deal with the Rockies to keep Patton and send him down.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ted Lilly
Ted Lilly
vs. Joel Piñeiro
Joel Piñeiro
5-2 W-L 4-3
3.27 ERA 4.17
38 SO 14
9 BB 7
9 HR 2
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

2009 - Ted Lilly 5-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 44.0 37 17 16 9 9 38 3.27 1.05

2009 - Joel Piñeiro 4-3 7 7 0 0 0 0 45.1 56 25 21 2 7 14 4.17 1.39

15 of the Cubs' 36 games have gone three hours or longer this year and the shortest game by time was 2:29, at Arizona on April 27. Tonight's game is likely to move along, because the two starters, Lilly and Joel Piñeiro, have combined for 89.1 innings so far this year with 16 walks (nine by Lilly, seven by Piñeiro). Piñeiro has only struck out 14 and allowed 56 hits, too, so you know teams have been putting the ball in play against him. Alfonso Soriano hits him well (15-for-45, .333, 4 doubles, 3 HR), and the newly hot Derrek Lee is 6-for-10 lifetime against him.

In addition to pitching, Ted Lilly will help 1000 old ladies cross the street to the stadium before the game, rescue hundreds of pets and get them to a pet shelter and bail out three St. Louis-area banks, all by game time. After that, he will take his 6-2, 2.99 (11 starts) lifetime record vs. St. Louis and beat them with his right hand tied behind his back.

Not really, but he could if he wanted to.

Albert Pujols hits him pretty well (9-for-28, .321, 2 HR) but he handles most of the rest of the team. For the record, Yadier Molina is a .174 lifetime hitter (4-for-23) against Ted.

Today's game is on WGN -- two games in a row available nationally! For today's other games see the Mediacenter. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 8:15 pm, 9:15 pm and 10 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.