Game Ninety-Four – Cubs 5 Astros 11
WP – Wandy Rodriguez (7-11) LP – Carlos Silva (9-4) Save – None
The Cubs have seen why the Mariners were so eager to rid themselves of Carlos Silva in his last two starts. Carlos Silva was beyond horrible once again and followed up his 1 1/3 outing versus the Dodgers with a one-inning performance on Monday night.
Carlos Silva allowed five runs on seven hits with a pair of walks in the first inning … and set the tone for the game. The Astros sent 11 to the plate in the opening frame and scored all five runs before Silva could record an out. Silva threw 41 pitches, 25 for strikes.
Silva appeared frustrated with the homeplate umpire, Tony Randazzo, and thought he was throwing strikes when he clearly was not. Silva does not look like the same pitcher that put together a very good first half. How much is Silva’s calf still bothering him?
In his last two starts, Silva has allowed 11 runs on 13 hits with five walks in 2 1/3 innings. To say Carlos Silva has come back to earth would be an understatement.
The Astros ended the game 12 minutes after Carlos Silva’s first pitch.
Monday night marked the fourth time this season a Cubs’ starter gave up five runs in the first inning … Carlos Zambrano on Opening Day and Randy Wells twice.
Mitch Atkins did not take advantage of another opportunity Monday night. Atkins pitched four innings in relief of Silva but gave up three runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Atkins served up a two-run homer to Jason Castro, the second of his big league career, in the third. Atkins made the case to rejoin Iowa’s rotation in the near future.
Justin Berg had a good first inning then gave up a pair on Chris Johnson’s first career home run. The Cubs cut the Astros’ lead to 8-5 in the bottom of the sixth and had a slim chance of pulling one out. But Berg let the air out of Wrigley and allowed the Astros to put the game out of reach.
Bobby Howry pitched the final two innings and gave up a run on a triple by Chris Johnson in the eighth. Howry has hinted at the fact this could be his final year in the big leagues.
Cubs pitching issued six walks Monday night and four came around to score … while Lou’s overly aggressive offense managed just one free pass. The Astros scored a season-high 11 runs on a season-high 17 hits.
Starlin Castro had a horrible night in the field … as well as at the plate. Not only was Castro hitless in four trips to the plate but he was also credited with two more errors. Castro did not appear to have his head in the game and made more mental mistakes than the physical ones he was credited with Monday night.
Tyler Colvin (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) continued swinging a good bat. Aramis Ramirez (2-for-3 with a sac fly, a two-run homer and three RBI) and Derrek Lee (3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored) had good nights at the plate. Ramirez’s two run shot in the sixth was his 200th in a Cubs’ uniform. But the 8-0 hole was just too much for the Cubs to dig themselves out of.
With the loss, the Cubs slipped back to 10 games under the .500 mark with a season record 42-52. If Jim Hendry was waiting for a sign to begin making trades, Monday loss should have been all he needed to see.
Michael Bourn singled to center on a 2-2 pitch from Carlos Silva to start the game. Angel Sanchez followed with a bloop single to right on a 0-2 pitch. Silva jumped ahead of Lance Berkman 0-2 but ended up walking him to load the bases with no outs. Silva barked at the homeplate umpire after the ball four call. Replays showed it was the correct call.
Hunter Pence ripped Silva’s first pitch into left and plated Bourn and Sanchez with the game’s first runs.
Carlos Lee then gave the Astros a 4-0 lead. Lee ripped a 3-2 pitch (Silva was ahead of the count 0-2) past Aramis Ramirez and down the third baseline. Berkman and Pence scored easily … 4-0 Astros.
Jeff Keppinger reached on an infield single to short … Starlin Castro held the ball too long then tried to throw him out on his heels. Keppinger beat out the throw and Lee advanced to third on the play.
Chris Johnson hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Carlos Lee scored … 5-0 Astros. Jason Castro followed with a single to right and Wandy Rodriguez recorded a single to right.
Eight of the first nine reached and Silva walked Michael Bourn to load the bases with two outs. Angel Sanchez lined out to Castro, who dropped the ball, recovered and threw him out at first to end the inning.
Mitch Atkins took the mound to start the second and faced the minimum after Jeff Baker could not handle a smash off the bat of Lance Berkman. Hunter Pence struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch and Soto threw out Berkman at second.
The Astros tacked on to their lead in the third. Jeff Keppinger walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a single to center by Chris Johnson … off of Castro’s glove. Jason Castro gave Houston an 8-0 lead with his second big league homer. Castro got just enough of Mitch Atkins’ 0-1 pitch and put the ball into the basket in right.
The Cubs finally put a run on the board in the bottom of the third … but by then in was a case of just padding the stats.
Geovany Soto led off the third with a single to right and advanced to third on a double by Jeff Baker. Mitch Atkins hit for the second time this season … and struck out for the second time. Tyler Colvin grounded out to first and plated Soto with the Cubs first run.
The Cubs added one in the fourth following a leadoff double by Derrek Lee. With Aramis Ramirez at the plate, Wandy Rodriguez uncorked a wild pitch that advanced Lee to third. Ramirez then hit a 2-2 pitch into left center that drove in Lee.
Lou’s crew cut the deficit to 8-5 in the sixth after Tyler Colvin led off the inning with his 13th homer of the year … a towering shot to right on a 3-2 pitch. Derrek Lee ripped a 1-0 pitch into right center for his second double of the game. Aramis Ramirez then launched his 12th longball of the season into the bleachers in left center.
But 8-5 was as close as the Cubs would get.
Justin Berg took the mound in the seventh for his second inning of work … and the Astros’ put the game away. Jeff Keppinger walked and scored on Chris Johnson’s first career big league homer … a booming shot to right center. Over the years Cubs pitching has served up so many career firsts it is simply ridiculous.
The Astros made it 11-5 in the eighth off of Bobby Howry. Jeff Keppinger walked for the third time and scored on a triple to right by Chris Johnson.
Paging Jim Hendry! Will Jim Hendry please pick up his cell and make what deals he can as soon as possible … so watching the remainder of this season will be a little more enjoyable.
Ryan Dempster is scheduled to face Wesley Wright on Tuesday night.