Lilly stepped across his body when he delivered his steep curveballs and fastballs. When he was forced into the rotation by an injury to Yankee starter Orlando Hernandez in 2001, he used his unusual mechanics to confuse batters and provided a string of strong starts in June and July. But Lilly heard the approaching footsteps of the healing Hernandez, and in August the strain showed in his pitching: none of his final four outings lasted more than four innings, and he gave up 16 earned runs in that span. When Hernandez returned, Lilly was sent down to Triple-A.
Lilly began his career in the Dodgers organization, but was dealt to Montreal in the July 31, 1998 trade deadline deal that brought Carlos Perez and Mark Grudzielanek to Los Angeles. He changed uniforms again in March 2000, donning pinstripes along with two other pitching prospects as embattled hurler Hideki Irabu was exiled to the Expos. Two years later, still a promising talent, he was sent to Oakland as the key bargaining chip in a three-way deal that netted the Bombers mercurial hurler Jeff Weaver, formerly of the Tigers. (EPW)
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»September 9, 1999: The Padres defeat the Expos, 10-3, in a game where they are nearly allowed four outs in the 7th inning. When Montreal's Reggie Sanders strikes out for the 3rd out, the umpires don't notice and the players do not leave the field. Phil Nevin comes to the plate and runs the count to 2-1 against Expos P Ted Lilly before someone in the Montreal dugout points out the problem to home plate ump Jerry Layne.
»August 9, 2001:
Yankees P Ted Lilly is suspended for six games for hitting Anaheim's Scott Spiezio in the head with a pitch in a game last Sunday. NY manager Joe Torre rips into baseball's dean of discipline Frank Robinson for the decision. Lilly was not thrown out of the game by the umpires when the incident occurred.
»April 27, 2002:
The Mariners score a run in the bottom of the 8th inning to defeat the Yankees, 1–0, despite being 1–hit by NY's Ted Lilly. Desi Relaford's single with one out in the 8th inning scores the only run of the game.
»July 5, 2002:
The Yankees obtain P Jeff Weaver from the Tigers in a 3–team deal. NY sends P Ted Lilly to the Oakland A's while the Athletics send IF Carlos Pena to Detroit. The Tigers also acquire P Franklin German and a player to be named from Oakland, while the A's get OF John–Ford Griffin and P Jason Arnold from New York.