Lilly struggling to hold runners on base

Lilly struggling to hold runners on base

Lilly struggling to hold runners on base
MINNEAPOLIS -- Ted Lilly has always had trouble holding runners on, but opponents have been running even more lately on the Dodgers lefty.

Lilly has been working on keeping runners close, but it has not seemed to be effective. With Lilly on the mound Tuesday night, the Twins stole four bases, one shy of their season high.

"It seems like every time I throw over to first, they're standing there, and when I go home, they're standing on second," Lilly said. "They know something that I don't."

While his delivery to plate is slow, Lilly does have an above-average pickoff move to first base. But even that hasn't helped.

"He's got one of those moves that is deceptive, but it's like when we're picking guys, we're still not able to get that guy at second base," manager Don Mattingly said. "We've probably had three or four of those, where he's picked guys off and we're not able to get that guy at second."

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Mattingly said Lilly needs to use a spin move more with runners at second base, and he notes that Lilly has been mixing up his pickoff moves to try to keep runners off-balance.

One thing that Mattingly does not think will help, though, is Lilly using a slide step to cut down the length of his delivery.

Whatever the issue is with Lilly holding runners close, Mattingly said it has seemed worse than usual lately. It has also coincided with a few poor starts.

When Lilly was asked if one could be affecting the other, he responded, "Usually, that's how it goes."