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, Red Sox announce lineups for ALCS Game 5

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The Red Sox are looking to punch their ticket to the World Series in Houston on Thursday night Game 5 of the ALCS. If they do, they’ll return to the Fall Classic for the first time since 2013, knocking out the defending champs in the process.

Red Sox

RF Mookie Betts
LF Andrew Benintendi
DH J.D. Martinez
SS Xander Bogaerts
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Rafael Devers
C Christian Vázquez
CF Jackie Bradley, Jr.

SP David Price

Chris Sale is still feeling weak after his brief stint in the hospital earlier this week, so Price is getting the start instead. If the series goes to a Game 6, Sale would start.

The lineup is a little different than it was when they faced Verlander in Game 1. Moreland and Kinsler are new additions. Devers draws another start with Eduardo Núñez banged up.

Astros

3B Alex Bregman
RF George Springer
DH José Altuve
SS Carlos Correa
1B Yuli Gurriel
2B Marwín González
LF Tony Kemp
C Martin Maldonado
CF Jake Marisnick

SP Justin Verlander

Bregman hits leadoff again. He hasn’t hit for average — just .182 — but he has drawn seven walks across four games. González handles second base again as Altuve’s right knee remains sore. Marisnick is getting his first start of the postseason. He’s had just one plate appearance, coming in Game 2 of the ALDS and he struck out.