Chicago Cubs

Cubs 4, Rockies 0: The Boys Are Back in Town

NEW YORK - APRIL 03: Ted Lilly #30 of the Chicago Cubs against the New York Yankees during their game on April 3, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The exhibition game is the first game to be played at the new Yankee Stadium.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Damen JacksonCorrespondent IApril 14, 2009

Filed: Apr. 13, 2009

 

Yeah, he was that good.

Ted Lilly would take a no-hitter into the seventh inning, negating Chicago leaving 26 runners stranded, as the Cubs won their home opener against the Rockies 4-0 Monday.

I should know better. For all the major league games that I've been to over the years, I'd never done an opener before last season. And you know what? It rained. The game was delayed. I froze. It rained some more. And many hours and shots of Scotch later, I was still chilled to the bone.

The only thing different this season is the opponent.

But last year I got to enjoy something special: the beginning of Kosuke mania. Remember this?

This year, I got one of the better pitching performances in baseball this season for the trouble. I guess it works out.

Lilly look completely unfazed by the weather, and sailed along so smoothly that no one in my vicinity even realized that he was tossing a no-no. The worst trouble that he ran into all day was when Chris Iannetta, who'd walked earlier in the inning, was sacrificed to second before Lilly retired the side. He was that sharp.

Unlike poor Ubaldo Jimenez, the Rockies starter. Really, the rain was much more of a problem for him. He walked six, and left after three-and-two-thirds innings. Honestly, from where I was perched, he just couldn't get the grip down on that breaking ball. Too much rain, and just too cold, I suspect.

The Rockies bullpen was lights out the rest of the way, but by then, the damage was done.

The Cubs got pretty much all they needed in the second when Jimenez passed Koyie Hill to walk in a run. They'd later add on in the fourth with a pair, and a late run in the eighth on a Kosuke Fukudome RBI single.

Given that the Cubs were missing Milton Bradley (groin), Geovany Soto (bicep), and Aramis Ramirez (stiff back), I think they got about all they could out of this lineup. And Lilly made the most of it.

Other memorable moments? How about Rick Sutcliffe throwing out the ceremonial first pitch to Jody Davis. Ah, what might have been.

Getting a first look at the Captain Morgan Club, the Cubs new in-house bar. Frankly, don't bother. It's way too small, only one bar, a few bartenders. It was quicker going to the bathroom.

Oh, and just when I thought the skinning and hanging of a goat—again—last night was the worst that Cubbie Nation could get, Kevin Gregg gets LOUDLY booed in the pre-game team introductions.

Even more loudly than Jason Marquis for the Rockies, if you can believe it. You know, we could have at least waited until his first actual home appearance.

There are some great photos of the day here. I hope you enjoy them.

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