Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lilly Barreled 'Em Over - Cubs 4 Cardinals 3

Lilly Barreled 'Em Over - Cubs 4 Cardinals 3

Game One Hundred Forty-Five - Cubs 4 Cardinals 3
WP - Ted Lilly (14-9) LP - Braden Looper (12-12) Save - Kerry Wood (29)

wflag.jpgLou Piniella's crew picked up a much-needed win on Wednesday night behind a tremendous effort behind Ted Lilly....but not without a little drama in the 9th inning. Ted Lilly put together one of his best outings of the season and set the tone when he ran over Yadier Molina in the 2nd inning. Lilly allowed only 1 run on 5 hits in 8 innings with 5 strikeouts and no walks. The biggest stat, the Cardinals put the leadoff runner on only twice in eight innings....and one was erased on a double play. Lilly did not allow a hit after a 4th inning single by Josh Phelps.

The Cubs offense scored all of their runs in the 2nd inning and took advantage of two errors by Felipe Lopez. Felix Pie drove in the Cubs' first run with a single to left after back-to-back singles by Kosuke Fukudome and Mark DeRosa to start the inning. Ted Lilly attempted his first sacrifice bunt of the night but Lopez tried to tag the sliding DeRosa instead of just stepping on the base.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in with the bases loaded and hit a smash to 3rd that was stopped by Lopez but his throw ended up in right center. Two runs scored on the error and Aramis Ramirez drove in the Cubs fourth run with a 2-out bloop single to left.

The turning point in the game came in the 3rd inning. Cesar Izturis and Felipe Lopez reached on consecutive 2 out singles and brought Albert Pujols to the plate with a chance in a 4-1 game. Pujols lined a 1-2 pitch from Lilly into left and Alfonso Soriano threw a one-hop strike to Geovany Soto to cut down Izturis at the plate.

Kerry Wood took the mound in the 9th after posting a loss in his last two appearances. Wood struck out Felipe Lopez swinging on a ball in the dirt but Albert Pujols ripped his second pitch into right center for the first extra base hit of the game. Ryan Ludwick followed with his 33rd home run of the season to right center that cut the Cubs lead to 4-3. Wood settled down and struck out Aaron Miles looking and Josh Phelps on a fly out to center to end the game. Ron Santo screamed 'THANK YOU, THANK YOU' as Pat Hughes declared the Cubs the winner.

The Cubs offense did just enough and was very opportunistic. All 4 runs came in the 2nd inning and they did not record a hit after the 4th inning....all eight hits for the Cubs on the night were singles.

Wednesday night's win was the Cubs second of the month....and maybe the one that will get them back on track.

neil@chicagocubsonline.com (Chicago Cubs Online) Thu, 11 Sep 2008 00:21:42 -0500

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