Game Forty-Five: Cubs (20-24) vs. Rangers (25-19)
Game Time – 1:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 179
Location – Rangers Ballpark, Arlington
Carlos Silva (5-0, 3.35/1.20) vs. C.J. Wilson (3-1, 2.55/1.15)
Can the Chicago Cubs win two games in a row? Not only is this afternoon the rubber game of the series against the Rangers, it is the rubber game of the road trip. The Cubs are 2-2 in their last four and a win today, against a very difficult southpaw in C.J. Wilson, will make Monday’s off day a little more enjoyable.
Lou Piniella needs to give Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez the day off … and that will be difficult with the southpaw on the mound for the Rangers. Neither player is helping the team right now and would give them a nice break before a big homestand against the Dodgers and Cardinals. Xavier Nady can fill in at first, which would mean Tyler Colvin starts in right field. Lefties are hitting just .102 against Wilson and unless Piniella is willing to gamble with Geovany Soto as his DH, Lee and Ramirez both sitting is highly unlikely.
Runs should come at a premium today for the Cubs against C.J. Wilson. It will take one of their better team efforts to beat the Rangers’ southpaw this afternoon.
Today it all starts with Carlos Silva … and just winning a ballgame. Carlos Silva is 5-0, the Cubs are 7-1 in his starts … words no one thought would be said when pitchers and catchers reported to Mesa back on February 17. Carlos Silva has out pitched everyone’s expectations and will face his toughest task this afternoon.
Silva is coming off another superb outing. He held the Rockies to two runs on six hits in six innings with a walk and four strikeouts. Silva has kept the ball down, worked quickly and thrown a lot of strikes over his first eight starts. He must continue to pitch the way he has in a Cubs’ uniform today … or it is going to be a long finale in Texas.
The Cubs’ third Carlos is 2-0 in three road starts this season with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
Today will mark the 14th career start for Carlos Silva in Texas. He is 4-4 in the first 13 with a 5.20 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.
Carlos Silva is 1-2 in seven career starts in the Rangers Ballpark with a 9.09 ERA and a 1.96 WHIP.
Rangers’ Career Numbers against Carlos Silva
- Andres Blanco – 1-for-3
- Nelson Cruz – 2-for-7 with a double and a walk
- Vladimir Guerrero – 10-for-42 with 3 doubles, a home run and 2 walks
- Josh Hamilton – 2-for-10 with a home run and a walk
- Ian Kinsler – 2-for-20 with 2 doubles
- David Murphy – 2-for-8 with 2 doubles and 3 walks
- Michael Young – 11-for-35 with 3 doubles, a home run and 4 walks
One of the main reasons the Rangers are in first place is C.J. Wilson. The 29-year old southpaw has been lights out for Texas this season. Wilson has not lost a game since April 16 and the Rangers have won his last six starts.
Wilson is coming off a rare bad outing and should be back on top of his game this afternoon against the free-swinging Cubs’ offense. Wilson gave up seven runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings to the Angels. By far his worst and shortest outing of the season.
C.J. Wilson has been the real-deal this season. He has beaten the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox (back-to-back and both on the road) and has allowed more than one earned run in a start only three times this year.
Wilson is 2-0 in five home starts this season with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.
The Cubs must take advantage of every opportunity they get against C.J. Wilson in order to win the series against the Rangers.
The Cubs faced C.J. Wilson for two innings back in June of 2007. Wilson threw two perfect frames with three strikeouts.
Cubs Career Numbers against C.J. Wilson
- Marlon Byrd – 1-for-2
- Mike Fontenot – 0-for-1
- Xavier Nady – 0-for-1
- Ryan Theriot – 0-for-1
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