A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs headlines for Wednesday

Chicago Cub vs St. Louis Cardinals

Ted Lilly kicked ass and took names, leading the Cubs to a 7-1 victory Tuesday night in Houston.

Ted Lilly came out to pitch the second inning Tuesday night with the front of his jersey caked in dirt after he had made a headfirst slide into third base for his first career triple.

As fashion statements go, it was certainly one of the trendier looks a Cubs pitcher has had in years, and one that probably would endear him to Little Leaguers across America.

Lilly eventually switched into a clean jersey, but continued to look filthy on the mound in a 7-1 victory over Houston.

"I had a lot of fun," Lilly said of his triple. "I didn't realize how tired I'd be running from home to third. I'd never experienced that. I think that was the first one I'd ever had. I had one in softball one time."

The Cubs left-hander threw 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball, allowing three hits while striking out four and improving to 7-4.

And Mike Fontenot celebrated his birthday in style:

Mike Fontenot celebrated his 29th birthday in style, knocking out four hits, including his first home run since May 3, as the Cubs won for the fourth time in the last five games and moved three games above .500 at 29-26.

"If I could have games like this, I wish it was my birthday every day," Fontenot said. "But then I'd be pretty old."

Piniella and Rothschild are trying hard to get Carlos Marmol back in the swing of things:

The one thing they had Marmol start doing during this road trip was use all eight warmup pitches on the mound before starting to pitch, instead of his usual routine of using just half what he was allowed. The first time out after making the switch, Marmol struck out the first batter he faced -- snapping a string of three straight appearances in which he didn't throw a strike to his first batter.

But Marmol followed that with a first-batter walk that cost a run Friday night, then got a first-batter strikeout Saturday night, but then walked the only two batters he faced Sunday -- costing another run that kept the Cubs playing for 14 innings.

''Sometimes I think he worries too much about trying to throw a strike,'' Rothschild said. ''He needs to be more aggressive.''


Bid adieu to Jake Fox, for now:

Infielder Aaron Miles (shoulder) rejoined the team Tuesday in Houston, where he'll be activated from the DL for tonight's game. Jake Fox, whose pinch-hit double in the ninth made him 5-for-12 (.417) since his recall, is to be optioned to Class AAA Iowa to make room.


How the team is trying to keep Milton Bradley on the field:


Can the Cubs change his conditioning program to prevent a recurrence of all the lower body injuries?

"I wish we had a magic formula for that," manager Lou Piniella said.

Micah Hoffpauir was originally in the starting lineup in right, but Bradley persuaded Piniella to insert him after he said he felt fine during early hitting.

So how can the Cubs keep him on the field and out of the trainer's room?

"I don't know," Piniella said. "We stretch him really well. He gets good treatment. I don't know what else we can do. We rest him. ... We can really use his bat."

And it looks like Aramis is progressing nicely:

Aramis Ramirez played catch, took some grounders and began swinging a fungo bat Tuesday. He could begin taking batting practice in 10 to 14 days. There's still no exact timetable for his return, though he should be back around the All-Star break.

(Imagine Bud Selig monotone) And with the 31st pick of the draft the Chicago Cubs select Brett Jackson:

"He plays the game hard and has a chance to be a true center fielder," said Cubs scouting director Tim Wilken. "We feel he has an average to above-average throwing arm, and accurate. We feel we have a guy who's a plus runner who's got a chance to have some power down the line."

Jackson, 20, said he's been a Cubs fan since going to Wrigley Field with friends for his 19th birthday. He was playing in a summer league in Wisconsin at the time.

"I absolutely truly was hoping to be a Cub the whole time," Jackson said. "I couldn't believe it when my name was read. I love the history and the tradition of the team. I love the mascot -- once a Bear, always a Bear -- and I'm proud to be a Cub today and I'm looking forward to helping the organization in the future."


And good news for all those planning to attend LOHO day at Wrigley this Saturday:


Rich Harden threw 70 pitches Monday night in his rehab start for Class AAA Iowa and proclaimed himself ready to start Saturday at Wrigley Field against the Twins.

"Everything felt good," Harden told the Des Moines Register. "I just wanted to try and establish my command, work on getting ahead of the hitters and (throw) off-speed pitches for strikes."





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26 Comments

gravedigger said:

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i like winning

flyball said:

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agreed, winning is fun

Umbra said:

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Brett Jackson played for the La Crosse Loggers in the Northwoods League. Hooray!

Umbra said:

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Also, the Cubs are in second place in the division. Crisis averted!

gravedigger said:

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yeah let's not go there yet

flyball said:

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Harden thinks he's ok? no offense Rich, but I want medical confirmation

Doc said:

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No doubt...

Starting pitching is not an area of concern right now, so Rich...take your time coming back, please.

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh snap! we're in second place!

flyball said:

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how'd that happen? who started sucking even more in the central?

JulieDiCaro said:

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who was ahead of us? cards, brewers, and reds.

we're only 2.5 games back. we have no business being 2.5 games back.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Lilly triples, Fonte-maybe is good at math, Harden pitching Saturday . . .it was all good until I got to the part about Aaron Miles being back.

booo.

thisyearcub said:

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Hey Carl, addressing one of your questions at some point this week ... I didn't think Castillo should be the Cubs No. 2 catcher, just someone to watch, thought he might have a Soto-type breakout. He's struggled this year in Iowa though, maybe he and Soto trained together in the offseason.

JulieDiCaro said:

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wither summer, chicago?

flyball said:

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I want beach weather!

flyball said:

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thats a whole lotta good news in one days headlines, are we sure its the Cubs being talked about?

JulieDiCaro said:

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no kidding. last night i was feeling good. now i'm starting to get nervous again.

thisyearcub said:

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Draft update:

After the Cubs selected Jackson, their second-round pick was David LeMahieu, who ... wait for it ... plays shortstop for LSU. Apparently someone on the Cubs' scouting staff has a mistress/hollaback girl in Baton Rouge.

In the third round, the Cubs drafted Austin Kirk, a lefthanded pitcher out of Owasso High in Oklahoma. He has committed to the University of Oklahoma.

Draft resumes at noon, with rounds 4-30 today. Cubs will begin with 140th overall pick. Rounds 31-50 are tomorrow. If you haven't been picked by then, you suck.

gravedigger said:

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hollaback girl?

thisyearcub said:

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I was trying to be nice. There are other terms, obviously.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i don't think nearly enough credit is being given to my little league team's record. every time we win, the cubs win.

coincidence? i think not. we have another game tonight. i'll let you know how the cubs are gonna do.

flyball said:

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please don't make me explain it

gravedigger said:

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I dont know what it is, is all...

Ginger Russ said:

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Andy White is over the Mendoza line with a better average than Little Babe Ruth, McHopsalot, Geo, and Mr. Monopoly! Don't worry julie, I don't think Miles will be getting much AB's till Blanco slows down.

JulieDiCaro said:

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i thought we put miles on the DL because he sucked? how can we then be bringing him OFF the DL? is he better at baseball than he was two weeks ago?

why didn't we put him on the 60-day DL? i can't believe we had to get rid of someone who can actually hit the ball to make room for aaron miles. boo.

kiwibob said:

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He better not have grown that goatee back....

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