The Chicago Cubs just took two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers on the strength of two dominant pitching performances from Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly. The latter pitcher’s performance, according to Dodger third baseman Casey Blake, was enhanced by some old fashioned cheatin’.

“I know he doesn’t have an overpowering fastball,” Blake said. “I know he’s trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in.

“That’s cheating. You’ve got to stay on the rubber.”

Lilly did not hesitate to fire back.

“Sometimes a batter will get in the box and he’ll step out, and behind the box, and on the lines,” Lilly said. “I don’t think he’s trying to cheat. It might not be intentional.”

By pitching from in front of the rubber, Lilly said, a pitcher would lose the leverage of pushing off the rubber. Any such deliveries were strictly inadvertent, he said.

“I might have done it a couple times, just trying to gain my footing,” he said. Chicago Breaking Sports.

It seems to me that Lilly would have to move in from the rubber *significantly* in order for any benefit he got from the move to offset the inability to push off the rubber. A couple inches closer to the plate? Sure, that’s an advantage. Having no leverage off of which to drive your back foot? Surely that’s going to hurt you.

To the extent Lilly was doing it on purpose, this falls somewhere on the a little extra pine tar end of the spectrum rather than the doctoring baseballs end of the spectrum.

Either way, one thing is certain: when the Cubs face the Dodgers again this year, the second week of July, they’ll remember the assertiveness of Blake’s allegations.

  • Mike

    Maybe they should ask ’50-games’ Manny.

  • BruceG

    I am a Dodger fan and i was watching the Thursday dodgers-cubs game on MLB network. They had the Cubs feed of the game and the announcers were talking about how Ted Llly pitches from both the left side and right side of the rubber depending on who’s hitting. They show’d a closeup of this and I noticed that Ted Lily was not making contact with the rubber, and was not suprised to see someone on the Dodgers picked up on this. You were right Casey and the umps need to pay more attention to detail.

  • http://yahoo jack Spoonmore

    Major rule mistakes should not be over looked but every player on the field will sometimes
    make some sort of mistake. If the umpires have to call each one the game will last for ever and there long enough now.

    • jstraw

      Ok, I’m a Cubs fan…and a Ted Lilly fan but seriously, a mistake? I have no idea what benefit Lilly derives from starting 4 inches in front of the rubber but it’s no mistake. Pitchers’ mechanics are important and there’s no way he doesn’t know…and can’t feel, whther or not he’s on the rubber. Why ever he was doing it, he was doing it on purpose.

    • BruceG

      how can you say that major rules need to be overlooked, then whats the purpose of having rules? If the players know that the umps are watching whether a pitcher is toeing the rubber or if a batter is outsideof the designated batters box, then the players will adjust and stop looking for ways of bending the rules

      • wax_eagle

        Didn’t see the tape of this. But you can bet that the Umps were watching closely after the complaint. Its up to the umpires to see the infraction, the other team can point it out, but that just means that the umpire will looks for it from then on.

        The first base or third base umpire should have probably seen this and warned Teddy, but he didn’t. I am sure that umpires will be looking for this in TLR’s next few starts.