Silva Stays in the Mix – Cubs 3 A’s 1

Spring Training Game Twenty-Seven – Cubs 3 A’s 1
WP – Carlos Silva (1-2) LP – Gio Gonzalez (1-1) Save – Kerry Wood (1)

wflag.jpgNearly six weeks after pitchers and catchers reported to Fitch Park, Carlos Silva finally showed up to camp. Silva, by far, put together his best outing of the spring Wednesday against the Oakland A’s. After a rocky first inning, Silva settled down and dominated. Silva gave up only one run on three hits, without a walk, in six strong innings. Silva struck out three and threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes. Silva retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced … including the last 10 in a row.

The Cubs pitching and defense played a solid game in the low scoring contest. Casey Coleman and Marcos Mateo pitched scoreless frames and Kerry Wood recorded three groundball outs in the ninth to close out the win for Carlos Silva. Cubs’ pitching allowed only four hits without a walk in nine innings … they faced just three over the minimum.

Carlos Silva and the Cubs need the right-hander to step up Wednesday … and he did.

The offense struggled again Wednesday. Q’s crew managed only five hits and five walks. Geovany Soto (1-for-3 with a RBI), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-3 with two RBI) and Reed Johnson (2-for-4 with two runs scored) supplied the Cubs offense. Soriano gave the Cubs the lead in the first with a two-out RBI single … then “drove in” his second run of the game in the eighth after Brad Ziegler plunked him with the bases loaded.

The Cubs left seven on base and finished the afternoon 2-for-7 with RISP … all three runs scored with two outs.

Carlos Silva did what he needed to do Wednesday afternoon at HoHoKam Park.

The game started out with Carlos Silva giving up his 30th hit of the spring. Coco Crisp led off the game with a single to right. Silva struck out Ryan Sweeney looking but gave up a double to Josh Willingham. Crisp scored all the way from first … 1-0 A’s.

Silva retired Hideki Matsui (groundout) and Kurt Suzuki (strikeout) to end the first. Silva tossed 19 pitches in the first, 14 for strikes.

The Cubs tied and took the lead in the home half of the first.

Reed Johnson led off the inning with a single to right. Starlin Castro walked but Jeff Baker, hitting third, struck out swinging. After a fly out by Aramis Ramirez, Geovany Soto tied the game at one with a single to right. Castro held at second but scored the go ahead run on a single to center by Alfonso Soriano … 2-1 Cubs.

After a wild pitch advanced Soto and Soriano to second and third, Tyler Colvin struck out swinging to end the inning.

Carlos Silva went back to work in the second. Jeff Baker made a good play on a ball ticketed for center off the bat of Mark Ellis to start the inning. Silva retired the A’s in order for the first time in the second.

The A’s last hit off Silva came with two outs in the third. Ryan Sweeney singled to center on a 1-1 pitch … and that was it. Silva’s pitch count was a very respectable 41 after three (27 for strikes).

Silva went on cruise control after the third. He sat the A’s down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Silva retired the last 10 and 17 of the last 18 he faced. Silva’s pitch-count after five was 65 (42 for strikes) and for the game, Silva threw 78 pitches, 51 for strikes.

The Cubs matched the A’s offensive output until the eighth inning.

Reed Johnson led off the eight with a bunt single. Matt Camp sacrificed him to second but the overly aggressive Blake DeWitt grounded out to second. Johnson advanced to third on the play.

Brad Ziegler intentionally walked Scott Moore (a rarity during a spring game) before unintentionally walking Welington Castillo to load the bases. Ziegler then hit Alfonso Soriano with his first pitch to force in Johnson with the Cubs’ third run.

With the bases loaded, Tyler Colvin struck out swinging to end the inning.

Kerry Wood picked up his first save of the spring with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Carlos Silva took care of business … maybe one of the many scouts in attendance liked what they saw as well.

Mike Quade finished his first spring as a big league manager with a 2-2 record against one of his former organizations.

Box Score from

The White Sox make the trip to HoHoKam Park for the second meeting of the spring with the Cubs … Matt Garza against Phil Humber with a 4:05pm CDT start time Thursday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Theboardrider

    As much as we may wish it didn’t happen, Silva dominated. He’s capable of being a front of the line starter and he’s probably going to get his chance. We could do worse with a number 5 and as much as I want Cashner to get the job there really isn’t anywhere else to put Silva. Hopefully he goes 2-0 and we trade him, if not, who knows. The guy has the ability.

    • Cheryl

      I agree with Theboardrider. This is the first time this year that Silva has shown that he can be a starter. Will he be? Maybe. Or,maybe he’ll be traded. Cashner will get his chance. Tampa Bay didn’t keep Archer or Chiros on their roster so maybe the name of this game is to wait and see what happens all the way around. Right now I’m more interested in the progress made by those who are still Cubs.

      • John_CC

        Cheryl! Cheryl!! It’s ok…you were having a nightmare.

        What Carlos Silva has shown – over the last 5 years – is that he is not to be relied on. He is streaky – at BEST, he is at the end of his career and doesn’t care enough to stay in shape. There is no reason to start this guy. NONE. And he is un-tradeable without eating the contract. So just let him go.

        What in the world does what TB did with Archer have to do with whether or not Carlos Silva gets a spot in the Cubs rotation? None. Cashner needs to get a year of starting the MLB under his belt. This is the perfect year for it when the pressure will nil.

    • Tony

      Silva is not a front of the line starter. He is a back of the rotation guy, who has no future with this team. It is the same o, same o with this team, never having a plan, for the team or young players, to fully develop.

    • twentytwo

      Don’t get so excited about Silva’s outing today….he was hit hard, but they were just hit at someone, I was there to witness….he still should be cut IMHO!

    • John_CC

      I really really hope that the sarcasm is being lost in translation here. Really. I must have, because you wrote “front of the line starter” and Carlos Silva in the same sentence.

  • Tony

    This is why I was so against the Garza trade. It takes a rotation spot away, and gives up our prospects. Cubs 1967 was going over this in the last article, but with Silva almost guaranteed a rotation spot, (since he showed just once that he can still pitch), what to do with Cashner. You can’t keep bouncing the guy from starter to reliever. But just watch, they will.

    Cashner’s future should be decided, based on what is best for him and this team, but not based on IF there is a rotation spot open for him. So, if Silva keeps his rotation spot and they put Cashner in the bullpen, only to try again later this year or next year, that is not in the best interest for Cashner or this team. But, if we didn’t trade for Garza, the rotation options would have been Z,. Dempster, Wells, Silva, Cashner, Coleman, Gorzellany (if not traded), Russell, etc. Same group as last year, plus Cashner. Last year our starters were not the reason we didn’t win more games, it was our offense.

    So we traded 4 prospects to get Garza, and now Cashner’s future may be changed.

    I don’t know what makes me more upset…

    1) If Silva is a starter
    2) If Cashner is in the bullpen, since there is no spot in the rotation
    3) Watching any of these prospects turn into future major leaguers.

    Sometimes it is painful to watch the moves this team continues to make!

    • Theboardrider

      #3 is a huge what if, Garza will be good. Cashner will get his shot. Hendry will eventually be gone. This is just one more year out of 103, by that I mean…not the year.

      • Theboardrider

        Getting so bent out of shape and raising your blood pressure won’t do any good. Go CUBS! Win 65 and get rid of Hendry. I repeat, this is not the year…

        • Tony

          #3 is what will happen to at least one of them, what will be hard to watch is if it is more than 1 of them.

          Not really getting bent out of shape, and very rarely does my blood pressure go up, I have been saying this is not the year, so why aren’t we making decisions for the long haul? JH is the answer, hopefully he doesn’t have the long haul, and won’t mortgage more of the future to make this year, still not happen.

      • The Maven

        I have been reading almost every other teams’ websites, comparable, but not better, than the CCO this spring.

        In other cities, fans are very supportive of their farm players, and don’t seem to clamor for the next piece of you-know-what on the waiver wire.

        I just don’t get this delusional outlook from some fans that the Cubs need just one more washed up veteran to win the series, and that are own minor leaguers are crap.

        It’s a shame that more Cubs fans can’t be excited by their young players, like they are everywhere else in the majors.

        • paulcatanese

          I agree,and also have thought about Hill what 1-2 for 27? and he’s still there? And Silva,one decent start since the middle of last year? Why do we not have confidence in our young guys? any questions out there for me.

  • matt

    neil do you think cubs already marked cashner down for 5th spot and is just giving silva a shot of hope to make it look like theyre considering him or does he really have a shot im thinkin they are just being nice and giving him hope

    • Neil

      From the way I understand it, the Cubs want Cashner in the rotation. They feel he is their future and see him as a top of the rotation starter. I think they are trying to move Silva. From what I’ve read/heard, there was a lot of scouts at Silva’s outing today. If they want to save any money and not cut him, they have to publicly say he’s still in the mix for the fifth starter.

      • cubtex

        I hope you are right Neil! Like many people have been saying…..if they feel Cashner will be a future top of the rotation guy, you can’t keep bouncing him back and forth from starter to reliever. Have him break in as the #5 and let him develop. Hopefully, someone will take Silva. Even if the Cubs have to pay all but a couple of million that is worth it just to get rid of him.

  • jw

    I think it is marvelous that Silva had a good start. I hope he does well It will give the club more options even if it is just to use him in long relief or as an insurance policy or as a trade chip. I really like what Mateo has done and his presense on the mound. I believe Cashner should be the fifth starter, Silva in long relief and Mateo in the seventh inning. Release Smardzija. He may pan out some day but it ain’t happening as a Cub and it is a waste of a roster spot at the MLB level.