After a rainout and a day off, the Chicago Cubs shuffled the rotation to give Carlos Silva a few extra days of rest to help him recover from an illness.
But in Monday’s 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Silva didn’t miss a beat. The righty remained unbeaten and improved to 8-0 by holding the Pirates down to just four hits and one run over seven innings of work. The only other pitcher in the league who has yet to lose a game is Cincinnati’s Mike Leake (5-0).
Ryan Theriot, who has recently been criticized for having drawn just one walk in the month of May, had a great day. Hitting in the leadoff spot, Theriot walked twice, stole two bases and scored four runs to help kick start the offense. Catcher Geovany Soto also showed signs of busting his slump. He was 7-for-his-last-57 (.123) entering the day, but collected two hits including an RBI double. In fact, this was the first time since May 27 that the Cubs won a game in which Soto played.
Reliever Sean Marshall also continued his stellar work out of the bullpen by recording the final five outs of the game to notch his first save of the season.
But not all was good in the Cubs win. The team had a chance to break the game open early but couldn’t capitalize on golden opportunities, thanks in large part to some horrible baserunning. Already ahead 1-0 in the second, Marlon Byrd and Alfonso Soriano both reached base to lead off the inning. But when Byrd broke too early for an ill-advised attempt to steal third base, he was caught in a rundown. Byrd did the right thing by staying alive in the rundown for a few seconds and drew three throws from the Pirates defense before being tagged out but Soriano still failed to advance to second base on the play. Then after a single by Soto put runners on the corners with just one out, Starlin Castro hit a groundball right at second baseman Neil Walker. Walker chose to run after Soto to tag him to start the double play and Soto contently ran into the tag instead of making an effort to avoid it. As it turned out, the throw to first after the tag narrowly beat Castro to complete the double play and prevent the Cubs from scoring in the inning.
In any event, the Cubs escape Pittsburgh with the first and only win of the year at PNC Park before traveling to Miller Park to take on the Milwaukee Brewers. Ted Lilly will take the ball on Tuesday and oppose red-hot Yovani Gallardo, who has won his last six decisions after starting the year 0-2.
The pitching matchup seems to favor the Brewers, but the Cubs have had success in Milwaukee this year. On April 23-25, the Cubs outscored the Brewers by a 25-4 total during a three-game sweep. Milwaukee has been bad at home all year, posting a meager 8-16 record at Miller Park thus far.
About the Author
Written by Eddie Kim