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Old Apr 3rd 2007, 12:35 am
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ryno4ever ryno4ever is offline
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Lightbulb 4/4 Cubs @ Reds 6:10 PM CT CSN+/WGN Radio

Hmmm, I don't get CSN+!!!!

Pitchers:
Cubs: Ted Lilley (Cubs Debut)
Reds: Bronson Arroyo

Cubs.com preview:
Quote:
If Ted Lilly wants to win over Cubs fans, he will not let Bronson Arroyo get a hit.

Lilly and Arroyo square off Wednesday night in the second game of this three-game series between the Cubs and Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs lost the opener, 5-1, on Monday.

Arroyo will be starting for the Reds, and last year, the right-hander hit home runs in consecutive starts against the Cubs, doing so April 5 in Cincinnati, and again April 11 in Chicago. They were his only homers of the season.

Lilly will be making his first start for the Cubs and his first against the Reds. The 31-year-old left-hander, who signed a four-year, $40 million deal with the Cubs in December, began his career with the Montreal Expos in 1999. His National League totals are limited to nine games that year, including three starts. He was 0-1 with a 7.61 ERA.

In his six-plus seasons in the big leagues, Lilly has pitched just two-thirds of an inning against Milwaukee, 1 2/3 innings against Colorado, 2 1/3 innings vs. Pittsburgh and six against Houston. There's two schools of thought: Lilly has an edge because hitters haven't seen him, or the hitters have an edge because Lilly doesn't know them. We'll have to wait and see.

By the way, the Reds batted .271 against lefties last year compared to .252 against right-handers.

Lilly will forever be linked with Cubs general manager Jim Hendry, who was linked up to an EKG machine the day he finalized the deal with the left-hander. Hendry was in an Orlando, Fla., hospital during the Winter Meetings, settled the details, and then underwent an angioplasty. Lilly was unaware of Hendry's predicament, but impressed by his work ethic. After losing 96 games last season, Hendry had a lot of work to do.

The Cubs were a surprise team in the bidding for Lilly, who has a career 59-57 record.

"It wasn't one of the teams who I expected would come after me," Lilly said of the Cubs. "It certainly worked out very well. I guess playing in the American League for so long, those were more of the teams I was thinking of. This worked out, and I would have loved to have played in the National League my whole career. Six years later, I get a chance."

Can he hit?

"I like to hit," he said. "I think if they throw it in the same spot consistently, I'll do OK."

His last -- and only hit -- came Sept. 19, 1999, off Kevin Millwood, who was pitching for Atlanta at the time. But the Cubs didn't sign Lilly for his ability to drive in runners. His record isn't great, and he knows it. He's a competitor, and the Cubs lineup should give him enough runs.

"I'm not satisfied with what I've accomplished," Lilly said. "I've had some expectations that I haven't met in my career, and I'm going to have a chance to do that from a personal standpoint. But more important and more special is that I'm going to be part of an organization that is going in the direction of winning."

Lilly has been tabbed as the starter for the Cubs' home opener April 9 against Houston. The lefty will be followed in that series by Jason Marquis and Rich Hill. First, he's got to deal with Arroyo, who was 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA last year against the Cubs.

"I'm excited, not only for my first start as a Cub but first start of something special," Lilly said.

Pitching matchup
CHC: LHP Ted Lilly, 15-13, 4.31 ERA in 2006
Lilly was 2-1 with a 3.72 ERA last April, and has a career 3.78 ERA in the first month of the season. The lefty totaled the most Cactus League innings among Cubs pitchers -- 23 2/3 innings -- over six games, including five starts. He was 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA.

CIN: RHP Bronson Arroyo, 14-11, 3.29 ERA in 2006

Last year, Arroyo struck out 26 over 35 2/3 innings in his five games against the Cubs. They hit .191 against him. Aaron Harang already picked up a win against the Cubs in the season opener. He and Arroyo last year became the first Reds to record at least 200 innings and 184 strikeouts each.

Player to watch
Derrek Lee has a career .356 average at Great American Ball Park, and has hit nine home runs there. Lee batted .471 this spring, going 32-for-68. He was the only Cub with more than one hit Monday, collecting two singles.

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