Silva Salvages One – Cubs 4 Marlins 3

Game Thirty-Five – Cubs 4 Marlins 3
WP – Carlos Silva (4-0) LP – Chris Volstad (3-3) Save – Carlos Marmol (5)

wflag.jpgIt might not have been pretty but the Cubs ended their four-game losing streak Wednesday afternoon behind Carlos Silva. Silva improved to 4-0 on the season and the Cubs are 6-1 in Silva’s seven starts. Who would have thought Carlos Silva would be the stopper on the staff when the season began. Silva snapped a three-game losing streak last Friday and snapped a four-game slide on Wednesday.

Carlos Silva lasted into the seventh, the first time in two starts he’s completed more than five innings. Silva gave up two runs on seven hits with a pair of walks and two strikeouts in 6 1/3. The Marlins only two runs came in the fourth on a two-out single by Ronny Paulino.

The Cubs’ pen did their job. Sean Marshall threw three pitches and recorded two outs. Carlos Zambrano gave up a hit and a walk in 2/3 of an inning and the third Carlos picked up his fifth save of the season. Carlos Marmol gave up a run in the ninth and put two on before striking out Hanley Ramirez looking to end the game.

The pitching staff kept the Marlins off the board despite retiring the side in order just one time Wednesday.

Lou Piniella’s offense plated runs with runners in scoring position and finished the game 3-for-8 with RISP with five left on base. Mike Fontenot doubled in Geovany Soto and Alfonso Soriano in the second. Marlon Byrd broke-up a 2-2 tie in the fifth with a double. Starlin Castro scored the Cubs’ fourth run on a wild pitch by Chris Volstad. Castro hit in the two-hole for Lou Piniella and finished the afternoon 2-for-4 with a run scored.

The Cubs’ defense was good and bad once again. They turned three double plays, two of the 6-3 variety. Starlin Castro turned in a great catch to take away a hit from Hanley Ramirez in the first inning. The defense also committed another error, the 13th in the last seven games. For the first time since July 21 – July 28, 2007 the Cubs have committed at least one error in their last seven games.

With the win the Cubs improved to 14-4 when they scored four or more runs. The Cubs are 6-13 in games decided by two runs or less and 4-7 in one run games. Wednesday’s 4-3 victory over the Florida Marlins marked the 1799th win in Lou Piniella’s managerial career.

Wednesday started on a sour note and it appeared it was going to be another long day for the Cubs. Chris Coghlan reached on a single just past Starlin Castro into center. Gaby Sanchez then hit a tailor made double play ball to Jeff Baker. Baker threw to second and Mike Fontenot dropped another ball.

With runners on first and second with no outs, Hanley Ramirez hit a floater into shallow left. Castro made a nice over-the-shoulder running catch to take a hit away from his counterpart. Jorge Cantu hit into a 6-3 double play to end the inning. The Cubs’ defense stepped up after giving away extra chances early in the inning.

Silva faced the minimum in the second after Starlin Castro started the second 6-3 double play in as many innings. Dan Uggla led off with a single but was erased on the grounder by Ronny Paulino. Cody Ross struck out swinging to end the inning.

Derrek Lee led off the home half of the second with a single to left. Geovany Soto hit what should have been a 6-4-3 double play but Uggla’s throw to first was off line. Soto advanced to third on Alfonso Soriano’s double to left over Chris Coghlan’s head. Mike Fontenot then ripped Volstad’s first pitch into left center. Soto and Soriano scored … 2-0 Cubs.

Jeff Baker walked following Fontenot’s double. Carlos Silva dropped down a bunt and advanced the runners ninety feet. Kosuke Fukudome grounded out to first to end the inning.

Carlos Silva retired the Marlins in order in the third … but the Marlins tied the game in the fourth.

Hanley Ramirez reached on a one-out single to center. Jorge Cantu singled to left on a 1-1 pitch. With runners on first and second, Dan Uggla ran the count to 3-2. The runners broke on Silva’s fourth 3-2 offering. Uggla grounded out to third but both runners advanced and scored on a single to center by Ronny Paulino. Marlon Byrd’s throw was up the third base line, which allowed Cantu to score and tie the game.

With the game tied at two, Cody Ross hit a deep fly to right. Kosuke Fukudome caught the ball as he backed into the ivy. Inning over and Silva dodged a bullet.

Kosuke Fukudome worked a one-out walk in the fifth. Starlin Castro singled to left on the first pitch of the at bat. With runners on first and second with one out, Marlon Byrd ripped Volstad’s first pitch down the left field line. Byrd’s 14th double plated Fukudome with the Cubs’ third run.

Derrek Lee stepped in with a chance to give his team a two run lead. Volstad uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Castro to trot home with the Cubs’ fourth run. Byrd advanced to third. Lee grounded out to third but Soto walked ahead of Soriano.

Alfonso Soriano struck out looking to end the fifth.

Carlos Silva started the seventh and retired Cody Ross. Brett Carroll singled to left. Bryan Peterson pinch hit for Chris Volstad and walked … just the second walk issued by Carlos Silva. Lou Piniella made the slow walk and brought in Sean Marshall to face Chris Coghlan.

Fredi Gonzalez went to his bench for the righty Wes Helms. Piniella stuck with Marshall and he induced a 4-3 double play on the third pitch of the at bat … Mike Fontenot snagged the grounder, touched second and threw to Derrek Lee.

Carlos Zambrano retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth … but walked Jorge Cantu and gave up a broken bat single to Dan Uggla. Piniella brought in Carlos Marmol for a four-out save.

John Baker hit for Ronny Paulino and struck out swinging to end the eighth.

With the Cubs up by two, Carlos Marmol walked Cody Ross to start the ninth. Brett Carroll flied out to left and Bryan Peterson struck out swinging. Brian Barden hit for Brian Sanches and fell behind in the count 1-2. Lee stopped holding Ross on the 1-2 pitch. Barden looked at ball two and Ross took second on defensive indifference. Barden worked the count to 3-2 then single to left. Ross scored … 4-3 Cubs.

Gaby Sanchez singled to right on a 2-2 pitch and brought up Hanley Ramirez with the tying and go ahead run on base. Hanley struck out looking on the fourth pitch of the at bat.

Wednesday was just one win … the Cubs have a long way to go.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Thursday is an off day for the Cubs. Tom Gorzelanny will face Brian Burres in the first of three against the Pirates on Friday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney