Game Fifty: Cubs (23-26) vs. Cardinals (28-21)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 183
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Carlos Silva (6-0, 3.52/1.21) vs. Adam Ottavino (0-0, -.–/-.–)
How will the Cubs respond to Friday’s loss? Lou Piniella’s crew put together a stinker Friday afternoon and it will be up to Carlos Silva to get them back on track. The Cubs have played better ball of late. They are 8-4 in their last 12 and have beaten some pretty good teams over that span.
Should today be considered a must win for the Cubs? With Adam Wainwright taking the hill Sunday, a loss today could lead to a bad homestand.
Carlos Silva has been surprisingly good this season and will face another tough test this afternoon. Silva must keep the Redbirds off the board while the Cubs inconsistent offense tries to figure out Adam Ottavino.
The Cubs have not fared well facing rookie pitchers in the recent past … especially ones making their big league debut. Baseball America listed Adam Ottavino as the Cardinals’ 11th best prospect before the season.
Not only has Tyler Colvin been the Cubs lone run producer but he is likely the only Cub to have faced Ottavino. Ottavino made 27 starts for Palm Beach in the Florida State League in 2007 … Colvin played 63 games for the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League the same season.
Today it all starts with Carlos Silva … and winning a ballgame. Carlos Silva has been impressive. He has beaten the Reds, Marlins, Rockies and Rangers but he has not pitched in an environment like he will today. It’s the Cubs and Cardinals and according to the four-letter network there is only one other rivalry better in sports.
Silva is coming off a win against the Rangers. Silva allowed three runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Silva walked one and struck out one on a very hot and humid day in Arlington.
The Cubs are 8-1 in Silva’s nine starts and he is 3-0 at Wrigley this year with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP in five starts.
Today will be Silva’s first career start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is 1-0 in three career games with a 2.08 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The last time he faced St. Louis was August 23, 2003.
Cardinals’ Career Numbers against Carlos Silva
- Matt Holliday – 1-for-2
- Felipe Lopez – 0-for-1
- Ryan Ludwick – 1-for-3
- Albert Pujols – 1-for-3
Adam Ottavino will make his big league debut this afternoon … good for the 24-year old right-hander but not good news for the Chicago Cubs. To put it simply, Lou Piniella’s teams in Chicago have failed miserably in these situations.
Ottavino was 4-3 in eight starts for the Memphis Redbirds with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Ottavino struck out 37 and walked 11 in 41 innings.
Baseball America ranked Ottavino the 11th best prospect in the Cardinals organization prior to this season. The Cardinals selected Ottavino in the first round of the 2006 draft.
Ottavino throws a four-seam fastball that can hit the upper 90s and he can command it very well in the mid 90s. Ottavino also throws a two-seam fastball in the low 90s and his curve was described as a “slurve”.
Many feel this is Ottavino’s last season to prove to the Cardinals’ organization he can be a big league pitcher.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …