Lack of support halts Silva's winning streak
Welcome to the club, Carlos Silva.
As he exited the mound after the seventh inning, Silva was on fire, yelling and spitting out his gum and kicking it.
You could hardly blame him.
He pitched well enough to run his record to 9-0, but instead he was tagged with a tough loss as his record fell to 8-1 with an all-star caliber ERA of 2.89.
Silva was hardly in any mood for repartee with reporters after this one.
"I don't get frustrated," was all he said when that subject was raised.
Silva gave up a first-inning run as Sox hitters swung early at this strike-thrower's offerings. No. 2 hitter Alexei Ramirez singled on the first pitch, and Alex Rios grounded a hit on the second pitch he saw before Paul Konerko lined a single on a second pitch.
Konerko and Silva met again in the seventh, when Konerko battled him in a 9-pitch at-bat, finally hitting an RBI single to put the Sox up 2-0. Right before that at-bat, manager Lou Piniella came out for a visit, with Silva's pitch count approaching 120.
Did Piniella ask Silva how he felt, or did they talk about how to pitch Konerko, who has singled twice before?
"Next question, please," Silva said. "How are you going to ask Lou Piniella or ask me how I'm going to pitch Konerko? You think he's going to do that right during the game?"
Piniella sympathized with Silva.
"When you pitch as well as he did, it's tough to lose, yes," the manager said.
Silva got help from neither his offense nor his defense. The Cubs were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and they stranded 10 runners.
"I don't know," Silva said. "You can ask that question to Rudy (hitting coach Jaramillo). He's the one working with them."
In the important seventh, Juan Pierre led off with a walk. After Ramirez failed to bunt, Pierre stole second, sliding around the tag of rookie shortstop Starlin Castro. Piniella argued with umpire Kerwin Danley, but replays showed Danley stayed with the play and made the correct call.
"The tag-out, we've worked on that with the young shortstop," Piniella said. "He has a tendency to want to reach out. Instead of putting the glove on the bag where he can tag the runner, he wants to reach, and the umpires, when they see you reach and they see you reach again, they're not going to give you the call.
"We've talked to him about it a few times. What are you going to do?"
Konerko got at least one closer call at the plate before he hit the ball to right center after. Piniella noted the ball seemed to hang up a long time, but right fielder Xavier Nady couldn't get to it.
"I saw it fine," Nady said. "Diving, I don't know if I would have got there."
The Cubs are a season-worst eight games under .500 at 27-35. And it's getting late.
"Let me tell you this: We're not going to quit," Piniella said. "That I can tell you. But you just can't continue to lose these types of ballgames. You just can't."