Gamecast: June 24, 2010- Cubs at Mariners
Ted Lilly (2-6, 3.42) vs. "King" Felix Hernandez (5-5, 3.39)
There was a time I was excited that the Mariners were on our schedule. They were a team that lacked punch, their pitching was shaky at times, and they did none of the little things right. Coincidentally, now that the Cubs are playing the Mariners, it seems that all of those issues that once plagued the Mariners have been resolved, if not become strengths. Cliff Lee demonstrated last night why some Major League team will be willing to sacrifice it's first born in order to acquire him at the trade deadline with a complete game outing against the boys in blue. For getting dominated by an elite pitcher, I can't be mad at the Cubs. In the game last night, Lee had 0-2 counts on 19 of the Cubs hitters. The man doesn't walk people and keeps it around the plate.
What I can blame the Cubs for are the chances they wasted last night. The Cubs started the game last night with 2 straight hits and didn't score a run. Moreover, the Cubs started the 7th Inning off with back-to-back doubles and still didn't score a run. I have two issues with the latter: (1) how is that actually possible to not score a guy from second on a double; (2) our offense needs to drastically improve with runners in scoring position.
Theodore Lilly will toe the rubber (or about a foot off of it, depending on how he's feeling) for the Cubs today in hopes of salvaging a win on the trip out to Seattle. Lilly has been progessively better each start since coming off the DL and I expect him to do the same in Seattle, especially given the dimensions of that ballpark. On the other hand, King Felix has been inconsistent at best as the "ace" of the staff. Hopefully the Cubs will face the more beneficial side of his Jekyll/Hyde act and run into a few base hits in clutch situations.
Finally, as reported by crack journalist Paul Sullivan, Big Z has taken to wearing his '08 All-Star t-shirt as a way to reverse his, and the teams fortunes. To quote Big Z: "That's when I used to be good."
Well Carlos, more power to you. In fact, more power for this team... we could use the run support.