Cubs Short Hops: Game 2
Lilly struggles after being staked to an early lead
PHOENIX -- Ted Lilly's struggles caused the Cubs to fall behind, 0-2, in their National League Division Series against the D-backs after dropping an 8-4 contest at Chase Field.In < 25 words ...
Chicago struck first with two in the second, but Arizona answered with four in the bottom half before pulling away with four more. Frozen moment
Kerry Wood took the mound for the first time in the 2007 playoffs, giving up one hit in two shutout innings with a strikeout. In doing so, he became the first Cub to appear in three postseasons (1998, 2003 as well) since 1945 and looked like the ace of those previous postseasons rather than the middle reliever he is today. Big number
13 -- The Cubs struck out 13 times against D-backs pitching in Thursday's game, including eight against starter Doug Davis. Alfonso Soriano led the strikeout brigade, whiffing three times swinging. Game balls
He drilled a home run in the second to give the Cubs a short-lived 2-0 advantage. He also smoked a screaming liner to right that was tracked down by Justin Upton.
When the D-backs brought in righty Juan Cruz to relieve Davis, the lefty Ward pinch-hit for righty Ronny Cedeno and smacked a two-run double to center.
The reliever kept the Cubs within shouting distance with his two innings of scoreless relief.
Sense of October
Strategy always changes when the calendar turns to October, but the Cubs may have been surprised that the D-backs tried a safety squeeze with the pitcher Davis, who is not a very good hitter and struck out trying to bunt in his previous at-bat. With the blazing-fast Upton speeding down the line, the element of surprise led to a successful attempt.
2 AB, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB
Comment: After being dropped from second in the order to eighth, Jones' stat line still reflected what a solid day for a No. 2 hitter would be by reaching base in his first three plate appearances.
3.1 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 Ks
Comment: Lilly compiled a 9-1 record in starts following Cubs losses in the regular season, but he struggled in this one from the start when his club needed him most.
"Look, we're going home. We've got out home fans, and we've got a chance to get it back here with a couple wins, and that's exactly what we're going to try to do." -- manager Lou Piniella
The Cubs find themselves in an unenviable position staring at a 0-2 deficit heading back to Wrigley Field for Saturday's Game 3 at 5 p.m. CT. Of the 27 teams in a similar hole in the Wild Card era since 1995, only four came back to win the series, all of which were American League teams. That's one more bit of history Rich Hill will have on his shoulders when he faces off against Livan Hernandez.
Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.