Carlos Silva is making the Cubs front office look smarter and smarter with each passing start. Silva who was acquired from Seattle along with cash in exchanged for the unpopular Milton Bradley, looked fantastic in his 2nd straight start.
Silva was pulled in his last start due to a minor shoulder pain. He appeared to feel great. Silva allowed 2 runs in 7 innings but neither runs were earned. He didn’t allow a walk and struck out 5 batters. Silva helped his own cause by plating battery mate, Koyie Hill on a 2 strike double.
Houston scored their only runs in the 4th when Marlon Byrd and Kosuke Fukudome had a miscommunication that allowed a run to score. The very next batter hit a triple that skipped under Fukudome’s glove and rolled to the wall in a rare defensive miscue by the normally sure-handed right fielder.
The Cubs were relatively quiet on offense until they broke through against Houston’s starter Felipe Paulino in the bottom of the 7th. Nothing seemed to go Houston’s way in the bottom half of the 7th. Alfonso Soriano appeared to be picked off of 2nd base, yet he swiped 3rd on a high throw. The Cubs would then take advantage and put up a crooked number on the board.
With the bases loaded, Ryan Theriot bunted a ball towards 1st that was bobbled and allowed Soriano to score. Fukudome added insurance when he hit a sac fly to center that scored Mike Fontenot. But the damage wasn’t done. Derrek Lee with 2 men on, crushed a 3 run bomb to put the Cubs up by 5.
The once promising start for Paulino turned awry in the blink of an eye.
Lou Piniella was quoted before the game saying that from now on, when he turns the ball over to the bullpen, that he is going to start praying. His prayers were answered when John Grabow and Carlos Marmol combined for 2 scoreless innings to seal the victory. The Cubs are back to .500.
Alfonso Soriano made a spectacular jumping catch into the wall to rob Carlos Lee of a double. The fact that Soriano put his body on the line to make a catch is encouraging especially since he has struggled as much in the field as he has at the dish. But by no means, is Soriano going to win any gold gloves any time soon.
Final Score: Cubs (5-5) (S) – Astros (1-9) (S)
WP: Carlos Silva (1-0)
LP: Felipe Paulino (0-1)
The Cubs will go for their 2nd straight over the Astros on Saturday. With a 12:05 PM first pitch, the Cubs will send left-hander Tom Gorzelanny (0-1) to face Houston’s ace Roy Oswalt (0-2).