Game Thread: Rockies (19-19) @ Cubs (17-22)

The Cubs go for a third consecutive win and try to close out the homestand at 4-4 before they get the crap beaten out of them in Philadelphia as they match-up with the Rockies.

Jhoulys Chacin (yo-LEES cha-SEEN), 2-1, 2.66, goes up against Carlos Silva (CAR-los SIL-va). Silva, 4-0, 3.40, is attempting to become the first Cub pitcher to begin a season 5-0 since Greg Maddux did so back in 2006.

Big news: Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor will be in the house. She is scheduled to be part of the home plate ceremony with the umpires before the game and appear with Kasper and Brenly on Comcast Sportsnet during the 3rd inning.

No appearance scheduled with Santo and Hughes in the radio booth as far as I can tell. For obvious reasons, that's a loss to WGN listeners and fans of unintentional comedy everywhere.

Looking at the lineups, Soriano will rest in favor of Colvin, while Ryan Theriot and his very sore elbow return to action.

Rockies:

Gonzalez 8, Smith 7, Hawpe 9, Tulowitzki 6, Helton 3, Olivo 2, Stewart 5, Barmes 4, Chacin 1

Cubs:

Fukudome 9, Theriot 4, Lee 3, Ramirez 5, Byrd 8, Colvin 7, Soto 2, Castro 6, Silva 1

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http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100...

"We'll put him back in his usual habitat, and that's starting baseball games and we'll go from there," manager Lou Piniella said on Tuesday of Zambrano, who was the Cubs' Opening Day starter. "I just don't know how long it'll take, and I told Carlos to be honest with me and let me know when he's ready."

How eager is Zambrano to start again? On Tuesday, he was taking batting practice with the other Cubs starting pitchers.

and this lineups sucks.

What amazes me, is not the move to the pen, but the fact that it was done because Lou actually thought that Z would be good there. As a demotion, fine, as a way to showcase the other starters for a trade, fine, but seriously, how could he really have thought that he would be a great setup man?

BABIP issues aside, he's actually been pretty good as a reliever (with last night's outing counted), cutting his walk rate way down (1 per 23 PA's, compared to one per 9.5 as a starter).

What has been dissapointing is that I thought he'd flash his 96MPH heater in a reliever's role, and he hasn't. Or at least not in the games I saw.

You may be right. He never struck me as someone who was dominant early but as someone who can't control his emotions. To me, that is the recipe for a terrible reliever.

Phillies down 2-1 in the 7th...they pinch-hit for Juan Castro batting 8th and Dobbs reaches first base. With one out, they don't pitch hit for Halladay who K's (I assume he was trying to sac bunt) and end up not scoring.

Who is Carlos Silva, and where did he come from?

f'real

This has been a weird season. The guy we all thought would suck is pitching great, the team's got, like, 35 guys in the top ten in batting but we can't close out games, and the fans booed the rookie who is hitting about 350 in his first game.

First home game.

Lee and Ramirez 1 for 8 with no RBI's last night. They're the Cubs version of Creed from The Office - just sitting there letting everyone else do the work. Too bad Lou doesn't have the sense to hide them in the back like Michael Scott does.

Boy, that Carlos Silva.

He sure is lucky!

You go, you "Lucky Dude", you!

Sould he get another "lucky" W tonight, I stand by my words that Silva and Byrd are the Cub MVP's so far.

An odd thing, indeed.

Silva for Milton: great trade, or Greatest Trade?

Betancourt should be fined for slow play -- 4 batters, 20 minutes. Painful.

speaking of slow play, was there a rain delay or injury during the Yanks/Red Sox game?

it's 9pm PST and the game is in the 9th...

There was an hour rain delay to start the game.

He single-handedly put me to sleep causing me to miss the end of the game.

Lindsey Vonn in the booth with Ron and Pat, they asked if she's been to Wrigley before.

"yeah, I stopped by and visited but I guess I wasn't a gold medalist back then."

awkward laughter follows.....

She once took her German skiing buddy, Maria Riesch, to a Cub game.

Ask Bob Costas if you don't believe me.

How can you not love baseball?

Carlos Silva will be 5-0.

Aramis Rameriz is hitting .171

It boggles the mind.

SWEEP! SWEEP!

Time to put colvin back in his box.
It's same box Dusty kept Theriot in back in 2006.

Congrats Hawks up 2-0!

he should play some DH this weekend or actually play LF while the other OF'ers DH

I was thinking the same thing when Len and Bob were talking about the roadtrip in Arlington. If you can get Colvin in the game and put Soriano in the DH while also getting Nady in there for some consistent ab's, the Cubs should be in good shape. Nady is essentially a DH already so maybe they can showcase his talent and put him in a position to succeed.

That entire 7th inning made me feel... wrong. Maybe it was Bob's figgets... maybe it was Len's... maybe her singing...or maybe, it was all of it. But in the end... wrong.

the 3rd inning where justice o'conner stopped by and talked all inning over the gameplay was surreal. it was like CSPAN with a baseball backdrop. i think len got in a few baseball related comments and bob barely spoke the entire time.

Regarding all of the non-baseball stuff that gets shoehorned into these broadcasts--see Rob's comment above regarding Lindsey Vonn--if the Cubs lost 95 games this year but the 7th Inning Singer and the non-baseball-walk-on-guests were stopped, I would consider the season a marginal success.

ot, sorry, but all the media buzz over Vonn was really annoying. There were far better skiers out there, yet the media obsesses over Vonn because she looks good in high def. She was mediocre and she lucked out on the gold. F her and her whining.

Wow, you are CLUELESS when it comes to skiing. Word of advice - stick to baseball. Lindsey Vonn has won the women's World Cup for 3 years in a row! Know what that means??? Probably not... That means that she is the best skier in women's alpine skiing. I know that is not a well known competition here in the US, but it is the highest accomplishment in women's skiing....

She also won three consecutive overall World Cup championships (2008, 2009, 2010),[2] the first American woman and second woman ever to accomplish this. Lindsey also won World Cup discipline championships in downhill (back-to-back) and Super G (the first American woman to do so).

With her Olympic gold and bronze medals, 33 World Cup wins in four disciplines (downhill, Super G, slalom and super combined) and two World Championship gold medals (plus two World Championship silver medals), Vonn has become the most successful American woman skier in history.

OVERRATED!

/sarcasm

She does look good in hi and low-def.

In fantasy, would you drop Z for Glaus?

depends on what you need, good bet you could get Z back when he reclaims a starting spot as well.

Carlos Silva is an important lesson for Zambrano, imo. Z's stuff is what, 10-15 times better than Silva's, yet Silva goes out there and throws strikes and presto... 5-0 record. It's like little league. Just throw strikes, bro.

Unless you are Kevin Gregg, in which case you might want to nibble.

Well, it is more than just that for Silva. He's always had good control. This year his walk rate is 1.9, and his career rate is 1.7. But his K rate (5.6) is more than a run and a half better than his career rate (3.9), and he is giving up two full hits less per nine innings this year (8.9) than in his career (10.9)! So somehow, in addition to have great control, his stuff is fooling people this year.

How much of Silva's success can we attribute to him pitching in the National League?

That may be a valid point...but not dropping your ERA a full run better...Maybe being healthy to go with that?

Interesting point though..

Halladay has dropped his ERA over a full point too, and in his case I am sure not having to pitch against the Yankees, Red Sox and DRays helps.

Barry Zito's ERA went up a run when he moved to the NL - therefore pitching in the NL West is harder than in the AL West. Pedro Martinez had four of his best five seasons pitching in Boston, therefore the AL East is easier to pitch in than the NL East.

Or you can't base anything on one or two samples.

Well, there's essentially one open spot in every lineup in the NL, so it's what, 11% easier than the AL? (Note to anyone who takes this too seriously: I know that's not a scientific calculation)

Anyway, couple that with the fact that most of these guys haven't seen him yet, and he should have slightly better numbers. If this continues his second and third times around the league, I'll be very pleasantly surprised.

You're not already pleasantly surprised?

The AL aveage ERA this year is 4.17. The NL average is 4.15. If you generously say that the AL is 10% better than the NL, that gives you a 0.42 extra runs per game.

Yes I am already pleasantly surprised. My point was I will be surprised (pleasantly) if he continues to pitch at this level the rest of the year. Ya know, regression to the mean and all that.

Simply comparing the average ERAs of the AL and NL isn't really conclusive either because the pitchers and hitters are different. Regardless of where you fall on the notion that the AL is generally better than the NL (lately), you have to admit that having pitchers bat in the NL makes it slightly easier for pitching and defense.

Of course it does, and pitching against teams managed by Pinhead and Dusty Baker also helps keep your ERA down, but it's no where close to a run/game which has been suggested by some.

the old standard at least was a half a run off your ERA moving from the AL to the NL

"no where close to a run/game which has been suggested by some."

Who suggested this?

A guy named Rob Richardson in post #28.

Great. Since I wrote the post in question, and certainly did not suggest that. I we can conclude that no one suggested that a change from the AL to the NL would cause a pitchers ERA to drop by a run.

What were you suggesting? Someone said "one run" and you then got someone else who had lowered his ERA by one run - what other number could you possibly have been suggesting? Just curious.

Two pieces of data presented in the discussion: 1 and 1 - so we should have inferred...?

I wasn't suggesting anything. I only asked a question.

"How much of Silva's success can we attribute to him pitching in the National League?"

I brought up Halladay because he is another pitcher who switched leagues in the off sesaon who has seen his ERA drop a full point. Of course in both (all) cases there are many factors of which changing leagues is one of them.

I believe it is you who said that making assumptions on two (or in this case one) pieces of data can lead one to make an erronious conclusion.

Silva apparently worked on a change or improved it. Fangraphs says he's throwing it more. Might be a bit of a Maddux effect as he's a big admirer of his (had his jersey hanging in his house before he became a Cub).

Something about moving to one side of the rubber mound as well during spring training per Rothschild's instruction allegedly helped him as well.

It could be that he was throwing 87 and now he's throwing 92. I take all the pitch data with a grain of salt. It wouldn't surprise me if he's throwing the exact same amount of changeups which are simply being marked differently this year due to different bean counters in different parks.

recall a Len quip saying he's throwing it more and Silva feels it's a better pitch.

sorry for the confusion.

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