Game Fifty – Cubs 5 Cardinals 0
WP – Carlos Silva (7-0) LP – Adam Ottavino (0-1) Save – None
Carlos Silva is 7-0 … Carlos Silva is 7-0. Who would have thought when Spring Training began that Carlos Silva would be the first Cubs’ starter since Ken Holtzman in 1967 to begin a season 7-0? Carlos Silva not only picked up his seventh win of the year but he dominated the St. Louis Cardinals.
Silva tossed seven innings of shutout ball, allowed just two hits to Matt Holliday, did not walk a batter and struck out a career-high 11 batters. Silva threw a season-high 100 pitches, 67 for strikes. Silva struck out seven of the first 10 batters he faced, at one point four in a row … Silva struck out Yadier Molina to end the second then k’d the side in the third.
Carlos Silva, Sean Marshall, Carlos Zambrano and Jeff Stevens handed the Cardinals their fifth shutout of the season.
Mike Fontenot became the first Cub since Jose Macias in San Diego on May 14, 2004 to hit two triples in the same game. Fontenot filled in for Aramis Ramirez at third and not only played a good game in the field, but hit a pair of triples in three trips to the plate. Fontenot drove in the Cubs’ second run of the game and scored the third on Starlin Castro’s RBI single.
The Cubs’ offense managed only seven hits but walked seven times on the afternoon. Kosuke Fukudome drove in two of the Cubs’ five runs with a bases loaded walk in the sixth and a sacrifice fly in the eighth … both with the bases loaded. The Cubs were 4-for-11 with RISP and left nine on base.
The Cubs defense also stepped up behind Silva. Other than a throwing error by Starlin Castro, the defense was solid. Starlin Castro, Mike Fontenot, Ryan Theriot, Marlon Byrd and Derrek Lee turned in solid plays in the field by Carlos Silva.
Saturday was all about Carlos Silva and he did not disappoint on the National stage. The Cubs are 9-1 in Carlos Silva’s ten starts.
With the win the Cubs improved to 24-26 on the year and have won 9 of their last 13. Carlos Silva retired the Cardinals in order on 17 pitches in the first inning. Silva struck out Ryan Ludwick and Albert Pujols swinging and set the tone for the afternoon. Silva allowed a leadoff single to Matt Holliday in the second … the last hit for the Cardinals until the seventh, a two-out double by Matt Holliday.
Silva faced two over the minimum and pumped his fist as he struck out Colby Rasmus to end his afternoon. Silva’s 100th pitch was swung on and missed by the Cardinals’ centerfielder.
The Cubs finally broke through against Adam Ottavino in the fourth inning. Alfonso Soriano walked and stole second on a questionable call. Marlon Byrd singled to center on Ottavino’s next pitch. Rasmus’ throw was up the third base side of home plate. Soriano was safe as the ball caromed off the brick. Byrd ended up at third on the two-base throwing error … Rasmus should have hit the cutoff man.
Mike Fontenot ripped Ottavino’s first offering into the gap in right center … the second triple of the game for Fontenot, almost the same exact spot as the one he hit in the second inning. Byrd scored easily and Fontenot made it all the way to third. Starlin Castro singled to center on a 1-0 pitch and drove in Fontenot … 3-0 Cubs after four.
The Cubs tacked on in the sixth … but it should have been more. Marlon Byrd ripped a single off of Skip Schumaker. The ball ate up the Cardinals’ second baseman. Mike Fontenot flied out to left for the first out. Starlin Castro grounded out to first on a hit and run play. Byrd advanced to second on the play.
Castro’s productive out led to the Cardinals’ intentionally walking Koyie Hill. Carlos Silva stepped in and was walked on four-pitches to load the bases.
Adam Ottavino’s big league debut came to an end with two outs in the sixth.
Mitchell Boggs came in and walked Kosuke Fukudome. Fukudome’s third straight walk forced in Byrd … 4-0 Cubs. Ryan Theriot grounded out to Boggs on the fourth pitch of the at bat to end the inning.
Sean Marshall took over for Silva in the eighth. Yadier Molina and pinch-hitter Brendan Ryan reached on back-to-back singles. Lou Piniella went to his pen for Carlos Zambrano.
With runners on first and third and one out, Carlos Zambrano threw a first pitch strike to pinch-hitter Nick Stavinoha. Big Z’s next pitch was ripped to short. Castro to Theriot to Lee inning over …
The Cubs final run came in the eighth after Mike Fontenot was hit by Blake Hawksworth to start the inning. Starlin Castro recorded his second hit of the game, a single to right. Koyie Hill bunted a 0-1 pitch in the air that Hawksworth dove for and dropped. With the bases loaded and no outs, Tyler Colvin stepped in a grounded back to the mound. Fontenot was forced at the plate.
Kosuke Fukudome lined a 3-1 pitch to deep center. Rasmus hauled it in but Castro tagged and scored … 5-0 Cubs. Ryan Theriot grounded out to third to end the inning.
The Cubs bounced back rather nicely Saturday afternoon.
Sunday is another big game for the Cubs as they try to inch closer to .500 … Ryan Dempster against Adam Wainwright.