The Chicago Cubs made a shocking announcement Wednesday, revealing that Carlos Zambrano will be moving to the bullpen to fill the set-up role. Zambrano is struggling as a starter and the Cubs are in dire need of a power right-hander for the ‘pen.
From all accounts, Big Z took the news in stride. Perhaps Zambrano is showing some maturity, putting the team’s needs before his own. Zambrano’s spot in the rotation will be filled by Ted Lilly, who will be activated off of the disabled list this weekend.
However, there was still a game to be played. And for the Cubs, it was exactly what the doctor ordered. Chicago sent the “other” Carlos to the mound. Carlos Silva has been a huge surprise and perhaps the most effective starter for the North-Siders this season.
Silva pitched his 3rd consecutive quality start. The hefty right-hander mowed down the Mets, allowing only 1 run (a home-run to catcher Rod Barajas) in 6 innings.
Fortunately for Silva, his teammates rewarded him with some run support. The Cubs offense was sparked by a suddenly scorching hot combination of Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto. Soriano fell a double shy of the cycle (3 RBI), while Soto reached base 5 times (3 walks) and added an RBI. After his day off on Tuesday, Ryan Theriot recorded 3 hits and 1 RBI.
Sean Marshall pitched a scoreless 7th inning in relief. However, the normally reliable left-hander allowed New York back into the game in the 8th. Marshall allowed 2 runs to cut the Cubs’ lead to 3. Justin Berg and John Grabow combined to extinguish the flames halting the 8th inning rally.
The Cubs never took their foot off the gas. In the top of the 9th, Chicago put the nail in the Mets’ coffin by adding 3 insurance runs.
Cubs closer Carlos Marmol shut the door in a non save situation to end the Cubs’ losing streak.
Chicago looks to build off the win and to finally turn the page on what has been a trying 1st 2 weeks of the season.
Final Score: Cubs (6-9) 9 – Mets (6-9) 3
WP: Carlos Silva (2-1)
LP: Oliver Perez (0-2)
The Cubs will try to split the 4 game set with the Mets on Thursday. It won’t be easy however, because the Mets are throwing their ace: Johan Santana. The Cubs will counter with lefty Tom Gorzelanny. Gorzelanny was pulled in his 3rd inning last start after being hit with a comeback liner.