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The Carlos Silva Story: Cubs vs. Dodgers Preview, Sunday 7/11, 7:05 CT

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Since 2000, there have been only three Cubs starting pitchers who posted ten or more wins before the All-Star break:

2001, Jon Lieber, 11-4 2007, Carlos Zambrano, 10-7 2008, Ryan Dempster, 10-4

If Carlos Silva wins tonight's game, he'll become the fourth and go to 10-2. Granted that in modern baseball, starting pitcher wins are less and less relevant with bullpen use the way it is -- this would still be an achievement, and possibly the most unexpected result of the 2010 Cubs season. It's still a shame that Silva didn't make the All-Star team; the nine wins he has ties him for sixth-most in the NL, his 1.07 WHIP ranks seventh and his 2.96 ERA is currently ninth. Silva's career high in wins is 14, accomplished in 2004 with the Twins.

Incidentally, that's not a misprint above -- Z did, in fact, have 17 decisions in 19 starts before the ASB in 2007. He had only three no-decisions all year in '07 in 34 starts, going 18-13. That's almost unheard-of in this era of bullpen specialization.

One more note -- the rotation for after the break has been set:

Ryan Dempster gets the pitching staff's first starting assignment after the All-Star break, Thursday at home against Philadelphia, followed by Ted Lilly, Randy Wells, [Tom] Gorzelanny and Silva.

Which means that IF Zambrano returns then, he isn't going back to the rotation. Again, this indicates to me that the team may be working on a deal. It seems completely pointless to bring Z back to the bullpen again.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Silva
Carlos Silva
Cubs
vs. Vicente Padilla
Vicente Padilla
Dodgers
9-2 W-L 3-2
2.96 ERA 4.72
70 SO 48
16 BB 9
9 HR 10
vs. LA -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Carlos Silva 9-2 16 16 0 0 0 0 100.1 91 35 33 9 16 70 2.96 1.07


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Vicente Padilla 3-2 8 8 0 0 0 0 47.2 45 27 25 10 9 48 4.72 1.13

Vicente Padilla has been around; this is his 12th major league season. Just when you think he's done, he winds up being effective in some way or another. This year, his control has been good: only nine walks in 47.2 innings. Careerwise vs. the Cubs, he is 3-4, 4.79 in 15 appearances (six starts), though he has not faced the Cubs since June 21, 2007, when he was with the Rangers (boxscore for amusement value only). Derrek Lee, who you'd figure will get going one of these days, is 6-for-22 with a HR against Padilla.

Carlos Silva faced the Dodgers twice while in the AL in interleague play; the last time was June 26, 2006; again, boxscore for amusement value, because it has little relation to today's game. From his AL days, the Dodger he's faced most is Casey Blake (.341, 15-for-44). If he can get past Blake, the rest of the current Dodger roster is hitting only .164 (11-for-67) against him.

Today's game is on ESPN. If you like, start a pool for what time Joe Morgan will make the first dumb or false comment about the Cubs. Most of today's games are over, but here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Dodgers site True Blue LA.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.