Tonight, I saw Ted Lilly of the Chicago Cubs take a no-hitter into the 9th inning against the Chicago White Sox at Wrigley Field on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
I had a bad feeling when Juan Pierre was sent up as a pinch hitter to lead off the 9th. He likes to slap the ball around and is very fast. Sure enough Pierre hit a single up the middle. Cubs manager Lou Piniella promptly took out Lilly and brought in Carlos Marmol. A walk, a balk and then the bases were loaded but Marmol managed to preserve the 1-0 victory. It was only Lilly's second victory of the 2010 season.
White Sox starter Gavin Floyd pitched an outstanding game as well. He didn't surrender his first hit until the 7th inning when Alfonso Soriano hit a double down the left field line. Chad Tracy drove in Soriano with a single. It's a shame someone had to lose.
I've always had a soft spot for the soft throwing lefty. I saw Lilly pitch in Ottawa when he was part of the Montreal Expos organization. I also saw him throw a complete game, three hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre when he was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays back in August 2004. He beat Pedro Martinez in that game and struck out a career high 13 batters. By contrast, Lilly had only three strikeouts tonight. Still, until tonight, it was the best game he had pitched in his 12 year big league career.