Silva plays catch while awaiting diagnosis
Source of pitcher's abnormal heart rate hasn't been determined
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Silva was able to play catch Wednesday, but he is still undergoing tests to determine what caused the abnormal heart rate that forced him out of his last start.
Silva was pulled Sunday after facing four batters in Colorado, spent the night at a Denver hospital and flew back to Chicago on Monday. He was being examined by cardiologist Mark Upton.
Silva was placed on the disabled list Monday to give him time to get treatment. But during his throwing session Wednesday, he showed he hasn't lost his stuff.
"He throws a pretty good sinker," said Carlos Zambrano, who played catch with Silva under the watchful eye of athletic trainer Mark O'Neal. "I thought I had a good sinker, but I think he's close or similar to my sinker."
Cubs miss chances with runners on base
CHICAGO -- The Cubs simply haven't been able to get the job done when needed.
On Tuesday against the Brewers, they were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Entering Wednesday's finale, the Cubs were batting .242 in such situations. The Reds, who lead the National League Central by a half-game, were batting .279 with runners in scoring position.
"When you look at our situation, what you need more than anything else is to take advantage of scoring opportunities," Lou Piniella said Wednesday. "Teams that win with consistency do better jobs at it."
Last year, for example, Aramis Ramirez batted .425 with runners in scoring position. This season, he's been battling a sore left thumb and was hitting .215 in those situations.
"This is not something that started yesterday or the day before or over the weekend," Piniella said. "It's something that's been fairly prevalent. [Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo] has got the group working. The thing is when the game starts, you have to get it done."
Piniella isn't melancholy, he just wants wins
CHICAGO -- As Lou Piniella's last season as manager winds down, he was asked whether he ever gets melancholy.
"No, I don't get melancholy at all," he said Wednesday. "We're trying to win a baseball game today. I know we have a day off [Thursday], and I hope it doesn't rain this afternoon. Outside of that, one day at a time and do the best job that myself and the staff can do."
He announced July 20 that this will be his last season.
"You almost have to have a bunker approach," he said. "Get in your bunker, come out the next day and be ready to fight again."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.