After missing more than a month because of a heart problem, Silva takes the ball against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Silva (10-5, 3.92 ERA) was arguably Chicago’s best starter for the first few months of the season. He won his first eight decisions - becoming the first Cubs starter to do so since Ken Holtzman in 1967 - and yielded three runs or fewer in 14 of his first 16 outings.
It was an encouraging start with the Cubs (60-78) for Silva after going 5-18 in his previous two years for Seattle. His impressive season took a scary turn, though, when he left in the first inning in Colorado on Aug. 1 with an abnormal heart rate.
The right-hander underwent a surgical procedure called cardiac ablation to correct the problem a week later. Without the procedure, the rapid heart rate could have recurred at any time.
Silva began throwing again a week later and has not experienced any problems since. He made two rehab starts for Class A Peoria.
“I feel very good, I feel great,” Silva told the Cubs’ official website. “My arm, my velocity, I feel really good.
“Right now, the only thing I’m looking for is to finish strong and have a positive mind for next year. It’s like when you get hurt, you want to pitch one more game before the season ends because you want to be positive and feel healthy.”
Right before his start at Coors Field, Silva gave up one run and five hits in five innings of a 5-2 win in Houston on July 26. Seven days before that, Silva was knocked around by the Astros, yielding five runs and seven hits in one inning of an 11-5 loss.
Chicago defeated Houston 5-4 in Monday’s series opener, winning for the ninth time in 13 games under interim manager Mike Quade. Geovany Soto(notes) hit a two-out solo shot in the eighth inning to snap a 4-all tie.
It was the second homer in as many games for Soto, who is batting .423 with three home runs and six RBIs in eight games against the Astros.
A victory for Quade’s club in either of the next two games would give the Cubs three straight series wins for the first time all year.
The Astros (64-73) are also playing better.
Scheduled starter Nelson Figueroa(notes) (4-2, 2.83) has been a part of the turnaround, going 1-1 with a 1.96 ERA since moving to the rotation. The right-hander gave up two runs and six hits in five innings of a 5-2 win against St. Louis on Wednesday.
Figueroa made a relief appearance versus the Cubs in July and is 1-4 with a 4.70 ERA in six starts against them.