Carlos Silva refused to speak to the media following Wednesday’s dugout altercation with teammate Aramis Ramirez, but attempted to explain himself to reporters today.
Silva told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he was unaware the Cubs had made nine errors in their first three spring training games, so when he returned to the dugout and said they needed to “start making plays” following Ramirez’s error the third baseman “took it personally.”
In spring training, it’s a little harder because we don’t watch every single game. I didn’t even know my team had made that many errors either. That was a very hard inning, not only for my team or for my coaches, but for me. I was trying to do something here, and I gave up those two homers, and I came to the dugout, I tried to take it easy, to relax, to let it go.
The only thing I said was “we have to start making plays here.” He took it personally. I know it was my mistake. It was my fault because you don’t say anything. But he took it personally and that’s what happened. We argued in the dugout, and everything stayed there.
Silva also explained that his having to compete for a spot in the Cubs’ rotation had him on edge after the “absolutely brutal outing.” Manager Mike Quade doesn’t seem to think the incident was a big deal and Silva seems to be handling it pretty well after the fact, so assuming Ramirez isn’t holding a grudge Carlos Zambrano can reclaim his status as the most likely Cub to throw a punch in the dugout.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.