What a difference a season makes.
At the end of last season, Carlos Silva was an injured, terribly ineffective pitcher, headed out of Seattle on a rail. He further continued down that road this year, coming to Spring Training overweight, and at the tail end of a competition for a rotation spot with the Cubs.
But, given a second chance, he's founded health, a rejuvenated sinker, and perhaps a permanent home after leading the Chicago Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros.
Silva, who pitched seven innings of two-run ball, picked up his first win of the season, and is now sporting a 0.69 ERA on the season.
"After the first game of Spring Training," Silva said, "we've been working on a lot of stuff. Hopefully we keep making the adjustment."
The Cubs apparently were going to follow his lead. After blowing a number of opportunities to score runs early off the now 1-9 Astros, Chicago founds new life in the seventh inning, highlighted by a three-run Derrek Lee homer off of Jeff Fulchino in the inning.
"It's good baseball," said manager Lou Piniella. "Usually that will score a run and get you runners on second and third. This time it got us a base hit, sacrifice fly and then the three-run homer."