It always bothered me Ted Lilly was never considered the true ace of the Cubs’ staff during his four-year run with Chicago.
As Cubs fans clung to the idea that Big ‘Z was the man, Lilly got busy winning 47 games–(15) in 2007, (17) in 2008 & (12) in 2009 when he represented Chicago as an NL All Star. And yet despite the league’s lowest run support, Teddy still managed double-digit wins with the Cubs 2010 (10).
Of course, after being dealt with Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt at last summer’s trade deadline, Lilly went (7-4) for L.A. down the stretch.
In 12 of those 16 starts he lasted 6.0 or more innings…10 of those were quality outings…and five times he allowed zero or one run. Is that not the work of an ace?
Following the season the 35-year-old signed a three-year extension with L.A. and has posted a (2-2) record with a 4.45 ERA to date.
Granted his first career start against the Cubs on April 23 was far from ace-like–the lefty lasted just 4.1 innings allowing five runs on 11 hits–but Lilly gets his second crack at the Cubs Wednesday night in L.A.
Look no further than the Cubs’ current rotation and its league worst starter’s ERA to remind you Chicago is missing its former ace left-hander–whether you want to call him an ace or not.