Chicago Cubs 2, Houston Astros 0: Ted Lilly Pitches Gem in Win

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Chicago Cubs 2, Houston Astros 0: Ted Lilly Pitches Gem in Win
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Click here for the photo gallery to Wednesday's game.

Quick. Well-played. Successful. If the Cubs are going to make up any playoff ground in September, Wednesday's 2-0 win over the Astros is going have to be the template for that success.

How quick? Unofficially, about 2:17, which is less time than it took to write this post, and edit photos from the game.

Cubs fans got treated to quite a pitching duel, as Ted Lilly face up against a surprising effective Felipe Paulino for the Astros. I like this kid. Big guy, with some major heat, a big over-the-top curveball, and you can kind of see the light turning on for him a bit on the mound.

I've got a good feeling that he'll find a way to stick with the Astros in 2010, especially if he keeps pitching games like this, with two runs over six innings, striking out seven. His only mistake was to Derrek Lee, who took one out to the left field bleacher in the fourth, for what proved to be the game winner.

But this was really a Ted Lilly story, who delivered yet another Wrigley Field gem. Ted went eight innings of scoreless ball, and honestly looked like he could have finished this game, even with 105 pitches. For those not counting, he's now 7-1 in 2009 at Wrigley, with a 1.72 ERA. Pretty much just unbeatable.

Ted allowed only a pair to reach second base, but the Astros never seriously threatened, as Lilly rather easily worked himself out of problems in the fourth and eighth innings.

Carlos Marmol would provide some excitement, walking Hunter Pence, and allowing a Carlos Lee hit to put a pair on, with one out. But he'd come back to get a flyout on Miguel Tejada, and a pop-up on pinch-hitter Geoff Blum to close out the game, and collect his eighth save of the season.

With both Aramis Ramirez and Alfonso Soriano sitting, this was exactly the sort of pitching performance that the Cubs had to have. And with August in the rear view mirror, the Cubs are undefeated so far in September, heading into Thursday's makeup game with the flailing White Sox.

Pitching, defense, and the long ball. Maybe Earl Weaver knew what he was talking about.

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