No one saw it, but the Cubs beat the Pirates 6-1 at PNC Park this afternoon. Carlos Silva gave up four hits, struck out five and walked one. He’s 8 and freakin’ 0, the first Cubs starter to do that since Ken Holtzman went 9-0 in 1967. It was the same story for Silva today as it’s been all year: he worked quick, he threw strikes, and he changed speeds. I wonder if there’s a lesson in there for anyone.
Dana Eveland got the start for Pittsburgh, his first since coming over from the Jays in a trade. Not a good day for Eveland, as the AP game story makes clear:
General manager Neal Huntington called Eveland an upgrade over what the
Pirates already have, but at least one fan wasn’t impressed. When
Theriot doubled leading off the game, a fan in the nearly empty upper
deck yelled to Eveland, “You’ll fit right in here.”
Eveland gave up six runs on three hits in five innings. Welcome to Pittsburgh.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.