4/8 Silva excited to start

Carlos Silva can’t wait for Friday. The right-hander will make his Cubs debut against the Reds, back in the National League.

“I’m very excited,” Silva said Thursday. “I’m looking forward to starting my first game and hopefully pitch the way I pitched in spring.”

His goal this spring was to be consistent and he did that.

“It wasn’t one good game, one bad game,” Silva said. “That’s what I’m looking for in the season is try to be consistent on the mound.”

Well, he did that after a rough first start. On March 6 against the White Sox, which was Silva’s first spring start, he gave up six runs on seven hits, including two home runs by White Sox slugger Carlos Quentin, over two innings.

“After you have two bad seasons and then the first game, you have that kind of game, you think, ‘Oh my God, here I go again,'” Silva said. “I’ve been working very hard to stay very strong in my mind. I tried to put that game away and keep working and keep learning and try to improve.”

Pitching coach Larry Rothschild has made some changes with Silva’s mechanics that have helped. But Silva seems to feel better mentally, too.

“It’s not only Larry but the whole coaching staff, the way they’ve been talking to me,” Silva said. “They have a lot of trust in me and that gives me a lot of confidence. Larry will tell me before a game, ‘Trust yourself, let it go and throw the same way you do in the bullpen.’ That’s what I try to do.”

Best of all, his wife and mother will be in Cincinnati for the game. His mother got a 10-year visa and joined the Silvas in Arizona this spring. Home cooking helps, too.

– Carrie Muskat

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