LILLY IMPRESSIVE IN WIN
I could easily be writing about Evangeline Lilly, who was fantastic in a stirring episode of Lost last night. She’s so spunky. As is the Cubs’ Ted Lilly. And before I get to the Cubs, good luck to the Sox and Indians today. It’s 29 degrees right now with a wind chill of 17.
Lilly was stellar: 7 innings, allowing only 3 hits and one walk while striking out 9. His game score was 75, 4th best in the NL so far this season. He threw 101 pitches and 70 of them were strikes. Piniella is calling for pitchers to throw strikes. Lilly did it. Piniella will keep uttering the throw strikes mantra to get it to sink in. I hope it overtakes “You are undermining the troops” as the number one soundbite in America.
Lilly then gave way to steady Bob Howry, who mowed the Reds down in the 8th. Lou called on Dempster to start the 9th. Cubs announcer Len Kasper said it was the perfect scenario for Demp’s 1st save attempt of the season. Agreed. A 3-run league on a freezing cold night. But I tell you right now that Cub fandom was biting nails and “here we go”-ing when Dempster walked Edwin Encarnacion.
Piniella came out instead of Rothschild and I think said the grandaddy of all swears a few times. It was crisp and to the point. It was mint. There was nothing defeatist in his stroll to the mound. No massaging of his pitcher. Just the hard dirt. I applauded. Perhaps we make too much of these things. But to see Piniella’s demeanor and how he delivered the message was quite different than what we’ve been accustomed to.
Dempster, who looks like he lost at least 20 pounds, finished the job. Cubs win. It was a great ballgame. Yes it’s early, but it’s hard not to like Piniella.
[tags]Cubs, Lou Piniella, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly[/tags]