During his three-plus seasons in Chicago, Ted Lilly had more
wins than any Cubs pitcher and the second-most at Wrigley
In his next game at Wrigley on Saturday, Lilly will face his
former team for the first time and try to lead the Los Angeles
Dodgers to their sixth victory in seven games.
After signing with the Cubs before the 2007 season, Lilly was a
member of two NL Central Division-winning clubs and compiled 47
victories – three more than Carlos Zambrano – before being traded
to Los Angeles on July 31.
Lilly had 26 of those wins at Wrigley, one fewer than Saturday’s
scheduled starter for the Cubs, right-hander Ryan Dempster.
“I love the thought of facing them, to pitch against my
ex-teammates,” Lilly told the Cubs’ official website. “I’m pretty
sure they are all itching to get in the box and hit one back at my
After a rough start to this season, Lilly (1-2, 4.09 ERA) is
hoping to build on his performance in a 4-2 win over Atlanta on
Monday. The left-hander didn’t allow a runner past second base
while giving up four hits over seven innings.
“I was able to locate my fastball. For me, that’s the key to all
my other pitches being effective,” said Lilly, who had a 6.00 ERA
in his first three starts.
“Since the San Francisco game (a 4-3 loss April 13), I’ve made
some adjustments mechanically which have allowed me to repeat
pitches more consistently.”
Lilly’s former teammate has struggled in his first four starts.
Dempster (1-2, 6.84) gave up five runs over five innings Sunday in
Colorado, but did not get a decision in a 9-5 defeat.
“I’ve just got to do a better job of making pitches and getting
people out,” Dempster said. “It’s getting really old and really
tired. I know they’re professional hitters on the other side.
“You have to tip your cap to them sometimes, but when you throw
the ball over the middle of the plate too much, you don’t tip your
cap to anybody. You look in the mirror and do a better job of
Dempster might have a chance at a better outing against Los
Angeles (11-10), as he hasn’t allowed an earned run over 22 innings
while winning three consecutive matchups. The right-hander gave up
three hits over eight innings of a 3-0 victory at Wrigley last
Dempster, though, could have trouble repeating those efforts
against a lineup that’s averaged 7.7 runs over a season-best three
straight wins. The Dodgers have batted .316 in those games after
averaging an NL-worst 3.2 runs in their first 18.
They had 14 hits in a 12-2 rout in Friday’s series opener. Juan
Uribe hit his second homer in as many games and drove in four runs,
giving him nine RBIs during the win streak.
“I feel real good right now,” said Uribe, batting .435 (10 for
23) in his last six games after opening 7 for 49. “Before I wasn’t
hitting. Now I’m helping my team.”
Andre Ethier had a run-scoring single during a six-run third
inning to extend his major league-best hit streak to 19 games.
Ethier is 7 for 17 (.412) with four doubles against Dempster,
and Uribe is 4 for 12 (.333) with a homer.
The Cubs (9-10) will try to avoid a season-worst third
consecutive defeat while keeping the Dodgers from within one win of
tying the all-time series. Since the beginning of the 1890 season,
Chicago is 1,021-1,019 against that franchise.