Friendly Confines | 1:05 | Maholm vs. Ted Lilly | Box
I look at the numbers on this game and I think the Pirates should have a chance to win it. Paul Maholm went six innings, faced 25 hitters, tossed 84 pitches and gave up eight hits and two walks. Ted Lilly went 6-1/2, faced 26 hitters, tossed 111 pitches and gave up six hits and three walks. The Pirates turned three double plays to the Cubs one. Yet, the Cubs managed to score five runs to the Pirates one.
So, Maholm lost and Lilly won. Reed Johnson had three hits and Geovany Soto drove in two runs. Ryan Doumit had three hits, including two doubles, for the Pirates.
Ted Lilly has reached double digits in wins for the sixth straight season. Not too shabby. He is 10-6 this year with an ERA near 4.50. He has won five of his last six decisions and nine of his last eleven.
He has started twice against the Pirates this year (both at PNC) and has two no decisions and an ERA of 8.38. His last start against Pittsburgh was May 25. Career vs. Pittsburgh he is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA. That is over seven appearances, five of which have been starts. The Pirates are hitting .295 against Lilly. Luis Rivas has two homers off him. Nate McLouth has one.
If you like the Pirates you have to feel pretty good about Paul Maholm’s continued progress. For the third straight year his WHIP, K:BB and K/9 have improved. There is still a lot of baseball left, but he’s been the best starter on the team this year and, unfortunately, it is not even close. In ten starts in June and July combined he went 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA.
His only start against the Cubs was the same May 25 contest that Lilly started. Maholm got a no decision in that contest. Despite an ugly ERA over 6.00, Maholm is 4-0 lifetime against the North Siders in seven starts.
The Cubs are hitting .282 against Maholm. Aramis Ramirez (7-17, two homers, six RBI) and Alfonso Soriano (5-14, three homers, five RBI) have been especially troublesome.
Jim Colborn is back coaching in the Majors. Now he is bullpen coach in Texas after a couple of coaches were let go. Colborn said his first order of business was to “find someone whose mechanics needed tweaking.” Alright, he didn’t say that.