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Carlos Silva, All-Star? Righthander Goes To 8-0, Cubs Beat Pirates In Front Of ... Almost No One

A paraphrase of a tweet I sent out during today's 6-1 Cubs win over the Pirates:

If Ryan Theriot walks twice, has two hits and scores four runs in a game and no one is there to see it, did it really happen?

It almost happened today, or maybe it didn't. Announced attendance at PNC Park for the Monday afternoon makeup of last Wednesday's rainout was 12,768. Take off the "8" from the end of that number and you probably have the total of the number of people actually in the ballpark. I think I've seen more people in beer lines in the bleachers than were there at the beginning of today's game.

The Cubs came out playing like a real baseball team today -- obviously inspired by the total lack of anyone watching them -- and Theriot had a career day. Yes, really -- it was the first time in his major league career he'd scored four runs in a game, and it helped lead the Cubs to their first win in Pittsburgh this year after five losses.

In addition to that, Carlos Silva was once again outstanding, throwing strikes (75 of 102 pitches), pounding the zone low and inside, striking out five and giving up only four hits, a walk and a run. This lowered his ERA to 2.93 and gave him his eighth win in 11 starts. The Cubs have won 10 of Silva's 11 starts and he's likely headed to the All-Star Game. None of this makes sense, but let's ride it as long as it lasts. Sean Marshall finished up for his first save of the year (and the first 2010 Cubs save for anyone not named "Marmol").

It was a wacky day. You could hear the heckling from fans on the telecast -- not just hear yelling, but almost understand exactly what each individual person was saying. Len & Bob spent a great deal of time making fun of the Tribune's Paul Sullivan -- who had decided to spend the day in the seats trying to catch a foul ball. At one point Len suggested it would be ironic if Sully had spent the day in the stands and came back to the press box to find out a foul ball had hit his laptop. I know many of you aren't Sully fans, but a couple of his tweets today were pretty amusing, and he posted a TwitPic of Silva warming up in front of an empty PNC Park about 20 minutes before game time.

Marlon Byrd was 3-for-4, drove in two runs, and raised his BA to .321, which currently ranks second in the league to the Braves' Martin Prado. If Byrd keeps this up, he's also got a shot at All-Star recognition.

A former All-Star who won't be going this year, Aramis Ramirez, pinch-hit and struck out on an 88-MPH fastball from Jack Taschner (who, to Len Kasper's regret, wasn't in the game at the same time as Andrew Cashner. But that could happen at Wrigley later this month). Aramis looks lost and there almost has to be something physically wrong with him. Please, please put him on the DL.

The Cubs head to Milwaukee -- where they have won only five fewer games than the Brewers have this year (three; the Brewers are 8-16 at home). They swept the Brew Crew there in April. A repeat would bring them home at 29-31 and with some hope for recovery. Make it so. There will be a discussion thread for the MLB draft here at 5 pm CDT, and you can also follow along at SB Nation Chicago.