Results tagged ‘ Lilly ’

Homestand happenings

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgThere’s so much that our players do for the community that goes unnoticed — just fine with them, of course, but also truly deserving of mention.

Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly both hosted charitable ticket programs this weekend, packing the terrace with groups of kids.

On Saturday, Lilly invited 50 members of Maryville Academy and spoke with them during batting practice. The three programs included young men and women ages 13-21 and help offer residential care and training for those with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and emotional problems.

Dempster kicked off the fourth year of “Dempster’s Dugout” with a group of 40 from Camp of Dreams, a Chicago non-profit devoted to enriching the lives of underserved youth ages 9-18. He met with the “Dreamers” during batting practice and treated them to lunch at the ballpark.

Kudos for their work supporting the community and cherishing their influence as Cubs players.

Other observations

? Cubs players enjoyed having Henry Blanco back in the “Friendly Confines.” It was a nice touch when Alfonso Soriano flashed a smile and gave a gentle tap on Blanco’s shin guard at the plate last Tuesday.


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Randy Wells threw a dirty change-up to strike out Michael Bourn in the fifth inning Saturday. Wells gave up just four hits and three walks over six shutout innings, striking out four. In our June “In the Dugout” Q&A, Lou Piniella told Vine Line that he has been impressed with Wells since his cup of coffee last year and that the strike-thrower figures to fit in somewhere in the rotation or bullpen.


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Kosuke Fukudome’s former hitting coach in Japan, Kyosuke Sasaki, watched Sunday’s game from the seats near the Cubs’ on-deck circle. Sasaki has worked with Kosuke this season, as you can read in this story.


— Sean Ahmed

Notes from the weekend

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Photo by David Durocheck

The team definitely seemed to relish the opportunity to play the MLB-best Diamondbacks, and it’s easy to see why: Not only were the Cubs able to get some revenge for last year, but they also erased Arizona’s lead in the NL. After last night’s 12-3 win against San Diego, the Cubs find themselves in a three-way tie for the league’s best record at 23-15, with Florida and Arizona.

Arizona and San Diego, despite its awful start, looked awfully tough coming into this 10-game homestand. But after a 4-0 start and six games left against the Padres and Pirates, what are your expectations through next Sunday?

Turnaround Ted

Ted has turned it around after a poor first four starts, and after Friday’s win over Arizona, he explained some differences in the postgame press conference:

“I’ve been throwing the ball a little bit better. Obviously, I was happy with how I threw the ball today. I used my change-up more, my curveball still is not as sharp as I’d like it to be, but I was getting ahead and pitching, using the outside part of the plate more.