Cubs In Haiku: Cubs 10, Dodgers 8

2011-04-23 Lilly.jpg

Ted Lilly returned to Wrigley Field on Saturday, but left the game in the fifth after giving up five runs to his former team. (Tribune photo by Brian Cassella) 

The Cubs continue
Perfect mediocrity
Major league record
The Cubs set a Major League record on Saturday, surpassing the mark previously set by the Yankess and Red Sox ... 
With the win, the Cubs set a Major League record for consecutive stops at .500 to open the season. The Cubs have gone 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, and are now 10-10. The 1951 Red Sox and 1970 Yankees got to 9-9.
"My goal is to get to over .500 for a long time," Quade said. "It's been the strangest 20-game start that I can remember at any level anywhere. There's plenty to like but in three weeks, I don't want to hear you say, 'You're 30-30, do you have any reaction to that?'"
It was also Ted Lilly's first appearance at Wrigley Field since being traded to the Dodgers last year.  Things did not go well:
Lilly snapped the Dodgers' streak of six consecutive quality starts, allowing his former team five runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Dempster went 5 2/3 innings, charged with seven runs on nine hits.
"At the end of the day, it's not about me, it's about us as a team, and those guys in there did an incredible job scoring some runs," said Dempster. "Guerrier hadn't given up a run all year and to score five in the eighth -- and big hits, clutch hits -- it was a big win for us."
The Cubs were led by the top of their batting order, as Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney combined for seven hits, six RBIs and four runs.
Lilly stepped up and took the blame.
"It's especially disappointing given the fact our offense battled back from a deficit, took the lead and I wasn't able today to get it done, so we could go up 2-0 in the series," said Lilly. "I wasn't making quality pitches. I put us in a tough spot going to the bullpen early. I didn't want to, and Donnie didn't want to.
"I don't know [that] the conditions had anything to do with it. I don't know I can really find any excuses. It's just a matter of making the pitches when I had to. I felt my performance wasn't good enough."
Notwithstanding the Cubs setting the new standard for being average, they did manage a great eighth inning to come from behind for the win:
Trailing 8-5 in the eighth, the Cubs loaded the bases against Guerrier, who had not given up a run in 10 2/3 innings this year. Castro smacked a two-run single, his fourth hit, to close to 8-7, and another run scored as Barney hit into a fielder's choice. One out later, Aramis Ramirez singled.
Baker, who got the start because Lilly was pitching, then lined a double into the gap in right center, driving in two. Quade could have had Carlos Pena, Tyler Colvin or Blake DeWitt pinch-hit.
"We've got all sorts of left-handed people on the bench but he's been in the game," Quade said of Baker. "He's had some good at-bats against right-handers this year. It's a decision you make and you say, 'The guy's been doing a heck of a job for us and let's give him a shot to win this thing,' and he did it."
The Cubs will try to move above .500 for the fourth time this season when Carlos Zambrano faces Hiroki Kuroda on Sunday.  

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    Ed Nickow

    A lifelong Cubs fan and Jewish father of 3 daughters, Ed blogs about (mostly) Jewish issues on Not For Jews Only and about Chicago sports (mostly the Cubs) on Chicago Sports In Haiku. You can also find his haiku at TheTorahInHaiku.com. Contact Ed by email - ed-at-chicagosportsinhaiku-dot-com

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