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Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2009-04-10

Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2009-04-10
Ted Lilly turned in the only clunker among the three performances by Cubs starting pitchers in the three-game series at Houston.

Lilly, the No 3 starter, gave up eight hits and five runs in five innings of the Cubs' 11-6 victory Wednesday. The Cubs said they knew Lilly was behind the other pitchers because of his time with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, but manager Lou Piniella said that Lilly "has to get better."

The 33-year-old Lilly went 12 days between his final WBC appearance and his return start with the Cubs in spring training. He then had a rough exhibition outing April 3 at Yankee Stadium.

Lilly is the type of pitcher who needs all three of his main pitches -- fastball, curveball and changeup -- working in sync. That's not the case yet.

History also says Lilly can be a slow starter. Last April, he was 1-4 with a 6.46 ERA in April, but he rebounded to go 4-0 in May on his way to a 17-win season. With the Cubs skipping No. 5 starter Sean Marshall the first time through the rotation, Lilly figures to work on his regular turns, and that could help to right him.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 10, 2009

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