After 2 dismal starts right before and right after the All-Star Break, Carlos Silva pitched 5 “good” innings against the Astros on Monday night to prove he is still “trade-worthy” before Saturday’s looming trade deadline. Kind of reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine deemed her then boyfriend Billy to be “sponge-worthy” for 1 (or more I guess) of the limited number of contraceptive sponges that she had left when the manufacturer decided to halt further production of the same. In my opinion, Silva is clearly “trade-worthy” and I really hope that GM Jim Hendry can find a way to move the big (“beefy” big, not just good “big”) righty before Saturday’s trading deadline.
Despite giving up a 1st inning on 2 hits, Silva settle down and didn’t allow a run the rest of the way in his 5-inning start. He pipcked up his 10th win of the season allowing just a total of 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4. His season WHIP of 1.22 and ERA of 3.76 are much better than anyone could have imagined when the team acquired him in exchange for the troubled Milton Bradley. Now as it turns out, not only did the Cubs get rid of a cancer in the locker room, they also acquired a pitcher who figured out how to re-invent himself in the National League. His hefty salary for 2011 ($13 million) might limit the likeliness that he will be traded before Saturday, but if the Cubs are willing to eat some of his salary, who knows. And who knows, even if they can’t move him this season, since the Mariners are paying $3 million of his salary in 2011, the Cubs could decide to keep him another year since he does eat up innings or a team could approach the Cubs this off-season to make a deal for Silva in the winter.
The Cubs offense got a LOT of hits – 13 – but scored only 5 runs. Once again, they blew a lot of good opportunities to break the game open, but at least they got enough good pitching to win the game. Geovany Soto had a 2-run double to give the Cubs the 2-1 lead in the 2nd inning. The Cubs added 2 more runs in the 3rd inning on a Marlon Byrd groundout and an Alfonso Soriano double. Ryan Theriot also hti his 1st home run – a solo shot in the 6th inning – breaking a 700 at-bat homerless streak.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – you gotta love the young relievers in the bullpen. Andrew Cashner came in in the 7th inning with 2 on and 2 out to end the Astros scoring threat. And then Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol pitched scoreless innings in the 8th and 9th. Cashner now has 5 holds, Marshall has 14 holds and Marmol has 19 saves. Sure, depending on what happens, Cashner and Marshall could both end up in the Cubs starting rotation in 2010, but that lethal trio at the back end of a game looks pretty damn good if you are a Cubs fan.
Ted Lilly makes the Cubs start tonight in Houston in Game 2 of the series. Will it be the final start in a Cubs uniform for the feisty lefty – guess we’ll have to see how things play out the rest of the week…
OH YEAH — Carlos Zambrano “apologized” to the Cubs organization in an interview with Pedro Gomez on ESPN – we’ll have more on that in the coming days as Big Z gets ready to re-join the major league squad at the end of this week in Colorado!