After going 0-3, 9.16 in his first four starts this year, Ted Lilly continued to scratch his way back to respectability on Friday, allowing just one earned run and three hits over seven innings as the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks, 3-1, at Wrigley Field. The veteran lefty improved his record to 3-4 and has now lowered his ERA by about 40%, though it's still a puffy 5.24.

Impressive, too, this afternoon was Lilly's striketout count. He whiffed 10 Arizonans, including outfielders Chris Young and Justin Upton three times apiece. It was the 11th time in Lilly's 10-year career he fanned ten or more hitters. That's 11 times out of 202 starting assignments, or one 10-strikeout game for every 18 or so starts.

The other Ted Lilly rarity today was the RBI single he lined into centerfield in the fifth inning, which drew the Cubs even with the D-backs at 1-1. Since Lilly spent the vast majority of his career before last season in the American League, he only had 105 at-bats before this afternoon. Those 105 AB had only produced 6 RBI. After today, the numbers stand at 107 AB and 7 RBI or one RBI for every 15 or so at-bats.

An uncommonly good day for Ted Lilly all the way around.


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