View From The Bleachers

June 10, 2008

Lilly is starting to smell pretty

Filed under: General — Joe Aiello @ 11:32 pm


(AP Photo/Brian Kersey)


  • One of the things that gets me extemely excited about a team is when they take pitches to get a starter out in the early innings due to pitch count. In a way, that’s how it worked tonight against Tom Glavine. Granted, he did leave the game after three innings due to a strained left elbow that will cause him to miss his next start, but the Cubs were getting to him. After throwing 17 pitches in the 1st, the Cubs tagged him for 31 & 25 in the 2nd and 3rd. Coming into the game, you know Glavine is going to nibble around that outside corner and the most important thing to do with him is to be patient. Glavine has only made one start all year in which he’s gone over 100 pitches. With that in mind, if the Cubs would just take some pitches, the bullpen would have to spring into action in a hurry and because it’s the first game of the series, it should lead to a good result overall. The key was Derrek Lee in the first inning as he fouled off pitch after pitch to see a total of 10. At the time, Glavine had tossed just seven and was about to get out of the inning easily. Lee’s at bat changed it around and I believe it was one of the keys to the game, despite the fact that it resulted in an out. Matt will think I’m crazy with that statement, but I’m sticking by it.
  • Ted Lilly got himself another good outing that started out a little rough. The start was very similar in result to his last outing against San Diego. In both games he gave up something in the first inning via the home run ball and then settled in for the long haul. He had the K’s working in both starts as well and has pitched deep into the game. He is slowly working that ERA down and has settled in as the 3rd starter on this staff. My confidence in him is not quite as high as it was last year, but I’m getting there. What’s suprising to me is that coming into the game, Lilly was hitting .263 in 19 at bats. If you watch Lilly, he’s probably the worst looking pitcher at the plate and I fully expect this average to quickly find its way back under .150 where it belongs.
  • Reed Johnson had a real nice night in CF and at the plate tonight. He picked up a couple really nice plays in the field and drove in a couple runs out of the 8th spot in the order, which is a huge plus down there. You can complain that he left three guys on base, but when you’re dealing with the number eight guys in the lineup, can you really nitpick on something like that?
  • What are your thoughts on the umpires warning pitches and the benches these days? It came up tonight, but thankfully didn’t change the course of the game. I don’t think Lilly was throwing at Brian McCann after Norton hit the home run, but apparently the home plate umpire thought differently. Sometimes I just feel like the umpires are taking things and turning them into something that’s not really there. Umps should be invisible. Let the guys play.
  • Alfonso Soriano got picked off in the 1st inning, but as Len Kasper mentioned, that’s a good thing to see. It’s nice to know that he at least has the confidence again in his legs to even think about stealing 2nd base.
  • This week the Cubs are celebrating 7-11 day at the park. Shouldn’t the game start at 7:11pm, like the White Sox are doing?
  • There were two ad boards behind the plate, and I can’t seem to remember when the 2nd one came along. Did I miss that? All I saw on the board to the right was a green screen all game. It had to be for another network, but I didn’t see the game listed on ESPN or TBS. If someone has the reason, I’d love to hear it.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail

  • kl

    In one sense, I agree that Lilly is getting better, but giving up three right away is a bad deal. No matter how you look at it, working into trouble just so you can look like Houdini when you get out of it will come back to bite you eventually. The Braves should have gotten another in the second when Infante led off with a 3B, but they didn’t, and Lilly got lucky. Meanwhile the Cubs offense went to work. Good thing they were ready to swing the bats, because the mobile ovoid strike zone of Doug Eddings was just silly tonight.

    AND, as far as the warning goes, I did think it was a bit early, and I’m not sure they should have let last year’s issues spill over, although heaven knows that some players will. I wonder if that wasn’t a “pre-game” discussion between the umps that there would be no shenanigans of any kind. Dana DeMuth is the crew chief, and he could have “strongly recommended” that warnings be issued immediately if anything suspect or close occurs.

    Remember when Lilly was heaved last year by Jim Wolf? I think the same preemptive caution was used here. Rarely will I stick up for an umpire, and I hated his zone tonight, but I think the warnings were fair. Harsh? Yes, but fair. If the question is : “Should he have warned him,” the answer is, “I don’t know.” Who knows what he was told before the game, or what he might have heard, etc…, but I do know that we’ve seen a lot of “brawls” and brawls this year, and even if some of them are just a bit silly, I’d rather not see baseball turn into hockey, and if the umps have to crack down a bit, that’s fine.

    I did think it was amusing, though, as the batter didn’t even look out at Lilly after the pitch. I think he knew there was no intent, also.

  • Mike

    Joe,

    I as well did not see anything about ESPN, but I know tomorrow night’s game is ESPN. However, when I was browsing for tickets for tonights game, ads on craigslist and ebay were advertsing the game was on ESPN. Perhaps it was like that Dodgers series, where the Tuesday game was on ESPN, and the Wednesday game was on ESPN2, although not many people knew it. Just a thought.

  • Ben

    I’m not sure who all gets it around the country but the second ad board could have been for the Peachtree Network that shows some of the Braves games down here. Not sure if thats true or where the hell that station came from (its on channel 170 or something down here) but that’s the only other station that was playing the game today.

  • http://my.yahoo.com EARL SCOTT

    I am a afraid to go too0 far over-board at this time of year, but I have uncrossed two of my toes. My biggest fear at this time is simply, we are injury free and we are catching everyone else hurt. If we DON’T start “using” the DL, we have a really good chance. BUT LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO BIG BROWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.viewfromthebleachers.com/meetmatt.php Matt Jacobs

    Lee’s at bat changed it around and I believe it was one of the keys to the game, despite the fact that it resulted in an out. Matt will think I’m crazy with that statement, but I’m sticking by it.

    In this case, I think you’re right. I still think pitch counts are crazy, and moronic. After warming up and 8 warm up pitches between innings, it’s really quite dumb. However, if a pitcher is cruising like Glavine did in the first and then struggles to get an out, it will most definitely swing some momentum.

  • http://www.myspace.com/baronvonbootyslap ManInTheBox

    “Sometimes I just feel like the umpires are taking things and turning them into something that’s not really there. Umps should be invisible.”

    I completely agree. I think it’s getting worse. It’s bad enough that umps are seemingly permitted to have “loose”, “tight” “outside”, “inside”, “high” and “low” strike zones. Now we’ve got guys issuing warnings…to pitchers who haven’t thrown a pitch (Glavine). It seems like the umps want to get their names out there even more.

  • silk

    $%$5!@#!@#!!

  • MGAD

    “Injury Free”…….thanks for the jinx Earl!

    Hopefully, x-rays are negative……if not, here’s your chance Thunder Matt.

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