When my brother was about seven years old or so, he got a toy called Teddy Ruxpin. This robotic creature was a cross between a teddy bear and a boom box. It had everything. Cassette deck in the back to play the storylines, storytelling ability, soft exterior making it an attractive soft teddy bear best friend and a mechanical inside making the whole thing work. Wasn’t a whole lot this little guy couldn’t do. Was the go to toy that year and was easily the most popular kid’s entertainment around at the time. Had a best friend named Grubby who was a fatter, sloppier version of Teddy Ruxpin, yet still had the same mechanical make up, great for entertainment, just not as sharp on the outside and not the number 1 guy in toy sales that year.
This year, Ted Lilly is the Cubs Teddy Ruxpin. Sounds ridiculous I know. But this guy is the man this year and there isn’t much he doesn’t offer. Eight solid innings today giving up only four hits shut down the Astros and gave the Cubs a much needed series win. Like I said yesterday after the night cap W, currently quoted on the MLB.com home page (at the time of posting anyway….September is the season for scoreboard watching. And now after Lilly did his thing, we have to sit and wait.
But Lilly was the man today. Eight innings, base hit…trying to generate and manufacture runs by attempting to even steal second base. Unsuccessfully of course, but still the fire and desire was there. Aside from Lee’s going yard for 2 runs, today was all Lilly. Can’t blame him. All quality starts since the break and just one win to show for it. The Cubs offense hasn’t shown up to support his brilliant pitching so of course he was out there trying to grind in the runs himself. Whatever he can do to get the W because the Cubs need them now more than ever. Hardly any season left and it’s on every Cub to give it all the way Lilly did today. Go a little further. Push a little harder. Do the extra things that help the team end up victorious at the end of the day.
Lilly’s effort, heart and desire today is what we need day in and day out. Clearly the wild card victory is Colorado’s to lose, but let’s keep winning and keep the pressure on them to win or else give up ground to us DAILY. No time to waste. Our lone all-star stepped up and set the standard that all other Cubs should look to live up to and surpass if possible. Lee is finally healthy and he’s inching closer to a potential .300 30HR 100RBI season and it couldn’t come at a better time. Bradley prides himself on the fact that the media was wrong to harp on ‘can he stay healthy’ considering he’s hardly missed all that many games. Ok, great. But you need to produce in these games Bradley. Stay hot and produce. Support great pitching performances like the one Lilly put in today. And don’t stop putting the pressure on those above us.
Colorado has the Mets, hopefully the Mets can pull their JV team together and upset the Rockies tonight. If so, we’ll pickup a full game in the standings. Atlanta beat Florida last night. Best thing that can happen tonight is for Florida to beat Atlanta. Let them share the beating and games lost in the standings during their intra-wild card standing series this week. If that were to happen and the Giants lose as well. We could be looking at five teams within five games of each other with a month left to play. Gotta love it.
Going to Friday night’s game at Citi Field against the Mets. Zambrano will be starting for the Cubs. He would be the Grubby to Ted Lilly’s Teddy Ruxpin. When Lilly pitches, those games are absolutely must-wins. Same with Wells and also Zambrano. Lilly is the unofficial ace of the staff this year with his all-star status and Wells has high expectations to live up to with a stellar rookie campaign as he and Lilly share the team lead in wins at 10. But Zambrano needs to step up and deliver the great story with the mechanical side of him and not continue to simply produce the sloppy, fiery, entertaining outside of Zambrano. He is the official ace of this ballclub and we need to be able to count on him. His games are must-wins as well, so come Friday, that’s exactly what he needs to come away with.
Tomorrow we get the White Sox and those games are always interesting. If any one team is going to play spoiler to another, can’t think of any other team better to do so against than your crosstown rival. Let’s hope the pitches keep finding their places and the bats stay hot. First thing’s first though. We did our part today in getting the win. Now, once again, something we’ll be getting real used to over the course of September…time to sit back, stress out…and keep a real close eye on that scoreboard. Thanks MLBlogs for showcasing Prose and Ivy on the MLB.com home page today. I’m sure it helped attract a whole new batch of MLBlog readers, perhaps some Cubs fans, and hopefully some return readers over the course of the final month of the regular season. Feel free to comment regarding anything Cubs/MLB related in the blogs or in the chat section to the right…and enjoy the rest of the season. This one is getting REALLY interesting….Go Cubs Go!
(And just for fun, for those of you unfamiliar with Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby, take a look at this):