Polishing the Silva
Last year I traveled to Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend to see the Cubs and Cardinals do battle. My companion was a neighbor friend who also happens to be a Redbird fan.
I discovered too far out of town to turn back that I’d forgotten the tickets for the Friday afternoon game. Luckily we overcame that absentmindedness at the Wrigley Field ticket window when I was able to verify that I had indeed purchased the seats in question and duplicate tickets were issued. But that snafu on top of the clogged vehicular traffic in downtown Chicago and the really clogged human traffic on the CTA Red Line left us barely enough time to scramble into position down in the right field corner ahead of the first pitch.
Six batters, 16 pitches and six hits later the Cubs’ starter that day, Randy Wells, was already finished and the visitors were well on their way to an easy win. I’m not sure I’d even caught my breath by the time the game was effectively over.
The next day we got to the ballpark early and were able to score club boxes behind the St. Louis dugout. This time the Cub starter was Carlos Silva and he did a little better than Wells had managed the day before. He threw exactly 100 pitches in his seven scoreless innings and gave up only two harmless hits. He didn’t walk anyone and fanned 11. I also recall the Cubs’ other Carlos coming in from the bullpen for the second straight day and the two triples legged out by Mike Fontenot as the Cubs evened the series.
In the rubber game on Sunday Albert Pujols belted a hat trick of homers and our rivals coasted again. My only consolation was that we were listening from the road on the car radio, much to the chagrin of my driver. Ryan Dempster labored through 125 pitches in 6+ innings and broke the sweat that neither Wells nor Silva had.
That weekend was rock bottom for Wells and as good as it got for Silva. They have since passed each other headed in opposite directions. Meanwhile the workmanlike Dempster has ascended through attrition to staff ace and the Cubs have replaced one beefy, erratic Carlos with another. I hope the one named Zambrano is anywhere near as good in 2011 as the one named Silva was that day last year.
And if he can do it against the Cardinals, so much the better.
trevor clifton (high-A) could be interesting in a couple seasons...could even become a high/middle rotation guy. he's got a lot of pluses in his pitching except control.
eric leal's (high-A) progression through the minors should be worth watching even if only projects to be an mid/end-rotation starter.
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
As Johnny Bach used to say when it was time for the MJ Bulls to crank up the defensive pressure: "Release the Dobermans!", and Jordan, Pippen, Rodman and Harper would just suffocate the other team.
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Historically, the Moneyball guys have been great at identifying productive hitters. Not so much with pitchers.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Well it would seem that's all they need now. "Stropy" can have his moments, but he's been more consistent post-asg.
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Who says Contreras can't frame? Stone cold robbery of Eaton with that called third strike for the first out in the eighth
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
...and Familia with back-to-back blown saves. Blows a one-run lead vs. Rockies today, gets his 2nd consecutive loss.
I am OK with the Mets missing the playoffs and suffering crushing losses at home --- just want them to beat St. Louis.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.