Carlos Silva is a "battler"

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I hope Bert Blyleven makes the Hall of Fame this year. I’m happy Bert Blyleven writes for NBC Sports.com.  I also wish I had some of what Bert Blyleven was smoking when he went on the radio this afternoon and gave us the Carlos Silva scouting report:

“What the Cubs got is, if he’s healthy, a guy that could pitch 200 innings for them.  He’s got a great sinking fastball, very good control. He’s a battler. He’s a lot like Carlos Zambrano as far as attacking the strike zone. Carlos Silva does not walk a lot of guys. He’s not going to strike out a lot of guys. He’s a contact-type pitcher that when he’s on has a good sinking fastball . . . As far as a person, this guy works his rear end off. He’s a good clubhouse presence. He’s got very good chemistry with all the other players. He’s a nice addition to the Cubs as long as he’s healthy.”

I suppose a lot of that is true. It’s also true that this battling chemistry god is currently getting lit up to the tune of a .400 opponents batting average in the Venezuelan winter league. Which means that either (a) he’s not healthy, in which case the Cubs will surely cancel the deal; or (b) Blyleven is overstating the merits of Carlos Silva just a weeeeeee bit.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.