We often joke here about the prowess of one Theodore Roosevelt Lilly. Today, his task is simple: throw a shutout and hit a home run to win the game himself. That way, Lou Piniella could continue his nap on the bench and not have to make any decisions.
You may have heard that the Twins sent yesterday's starter Anthony Swarzak to Triple-A after the game, leading to the inevitable jokes which don't need to be repeated here. Here's the real reason for the demotion:
Minnesota is winning despite an injury-plagued outfield. Michael Cuddyer sat out Saturday’s game because of an inflamed right index finger, and is expected to see a hand specialist Monday. Denard Span is sidelined with an inner ear disorder.
Those injuries meant the Twins needed to send Swarzak, who allowed four hits over seven innings, to Triple-A Rochester to bring up catcher Jose Morales to give the team another hitter. Without the outfielders, the Twins managed five hits Saturday.
The Cubs "managed" five hits too, yesterday. Didn't help. Although, Derrek Lee now has a 12-game hitting streak and has reached base in 22 consecutive games.
Ryan Freel (remember him?) is "close" to returning from the DL, and will start a rehab assignment in the next couple of days. Frankly, he and his "friend" Farney can stay there. He was -- and this is hard to believe -- less useful to the team than Aaron Miles.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2009 - Ted Lilly||7-4||12||12||0||0||0||0||78.0||62||28||26||11||20||63||3.00||1.05|
|2009 - Scott Baker||4-6||11||11||0||0||0||0||67.2||67||43||42||15||12||57||5.59||1.17|
Scott Baker had a rough go early this year, but in June is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA. This is his first start vs. the Cubs; he has faced three current Cubs (Andres Blanco, 0-for-2; Reed Johnson, 0-for-3; Milton Bradley, 2-for-6).
Ted Lilly made six career starts vs. the Twins (3-1, 3.52) in his AL days, but has not faced them since 2006. The Twin he has faced most is former White Sox Joe Crede (4-for-18). Delmon Young is 3-for-3 against Ted. Lilly has been the Cubs' most consistent starter all year and is likely going to be the team's only All-Star. Simply put, and without our usual Ted hype -- we need him to win today.
WGN today -- so you can see this game nationwide. (Maybe that's not so great, given the team record on WGN.) For other games today see the MLB.com Mediacenter.
Overflow comment threads will post today at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.