Tiago da Silva
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Tiago Felipe da Silva (Sponge Bob)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 165 lb.
Da Silva was born in Brazil. Da Silva is part Japanese, and speaks Japanese, Spanish, Italian, and English, as well as his native language of Portuguese.
In the 2003 Baseball World Cup, da Silva was 2 for 4 with a walk and double for Brazil as a backup infielder; he also pitched, throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings. In 2004, he pitched for the Macoto Cobras, but allowed 14 hits, 7 walks and 12 runs in only 4 2/3 IP. He came to Italy and played in Serie A1 from 2005-2007, being used as a shortstop and pitcher. In 2008, he made his Serie A1 debut as a pitcher for T & A San Marino. He was 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA in the 2008 European Cup for third-place San Marino, getting roughed up by Kinheim, the eventual winner. Da Silva turned in a fine outing in the 2008 European Cup Final Four finale, holding Danesi Nettuno to one run in 7 innings but his relievers failed to protect the lead. He was 4-4 with a 1.92 ERA during the 2008 Italian Baseball League (Serie A1 having switched its name for a period) season, finishing 6th in K (70) and was in the top ten in ERA. San Marino won its first title.
Da Silva obtained Italian citizenship in 2009. He struggled for Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Relieving Adam Ottavino in the 4th with a scoreless game against Venezuela, he retired Bobby Abreu but then gave up a double to Miguel Cabrera, a single to Magglio Ordóñez and a RBI double to Carlos Guillen. He intentionally walked José López to load the bases. Ramón Hernández hit into a two-run error by Nick Punto. César Izturis got plunked to load the bags again. Endy Chávez then hit a sacrifice fly to put Venezuela up 4-0. Da Silva did not wind up with Italy's highest ERA in the event as Kasey Olenberger and Lenny DiNardo were even higher. He allowed two hits and no walks or runs in 5 innings in the 2009 European Cup, fanning 7 in a win over FC Barcelona. He took the loss to Enrique González.
In the 2009 Italian Baseball League, he was excellent at 9-1, 1.10 with a .78 WHIP and 107 K in 90 1/3 IP. He led in ERA (.06 ahead of Rafael García), tied Horacio Estrada and Jesus Matos for 2nd in wins (one behind Garcia) and was 2nd in K (11 behind Matos). He was named the league's All-Star pitcher. He was back with Italy for the 2009 Baseball World Cup, losing the opener to Taiwan and Yen-Feng Lin (he later pitched against Australia and the Netherlands Antilles. He was 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA but a team-high 14 K in 10 2/3 IP, 3 K ahead of Marco Grifantini.
The right-hander was 8-4 with a 2.23 ERA in the 2010 Italian Baseball League. He tied Henry Bonilla and Jim Brower for 4th in the league in wins and was 5th in ERA (between Sandy Patrone and Bonilla). In the 2010 European Cup, he had a no-decision against Telemarket Rimini (5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K); Mattia Salsi relieved. In the 2010 European Championship, he allowed one run in five to beat Greece but gave up 3 runs in 2 innings of relief against Germany on homers by Edward Martinez and Dominik Wulf. He started the Gold Medal Game against the Netherlands and allowed a leadoff homer to Eugene Kingsale. The Netherlands loaded the bases but he did not allow another run. After Sidney de Jong walked to open the 2nd, Justin Cicatello relieved. Italy would rally for a 8-4 win, their first European title since the 1997 European Championship.
In the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, he allowed one run in 6 2/3 IP, fanning seven, before Cicatello relieved against Nicaragua. He got a no-decision. He pitched four shutout innings versus Cuba but Yulexis La Rosa and Rudy Reyes opened the 5th with hits and both scored after Yovany D'Amico relieved. He tied Junior Téllez and Diegomar Markwell for 7th in the event in IP. For Italy, only Cody Cillo had a better ERA among the qualifiers. Italy won a Bronze, their first medal in a global baseball tournament.
Da Silva blanked Cariparma Parma for 7 innings in the 2011 European Cup (3 H, 2 BB, 10 K) in a win (saved by Darwin Cubillan). In the finale, he stifled Parma again, going the distance with a seven-hitter, fanning six and allowing one run. He did not win the MVP, which went to Mattia Reginato. In the 2011 Italian Baseball League, he had a 7-1, 2.84 record. He tied Grifantini and Roberto Corradini for 5th in wins and tied Rodney Rodriguez for the most whiffs (95). In Game 3 of the 2011 Italian Series, he beat Nettuno and José Escalona with a complete game, allowing a two-run homer to Kelly Ramos but no other runs. With San Marino down 3 games to 2, he again pitched a two-run complete game (this time on 158 pitches) to win again. San Marino would take the Series.
He was back with Italy for the 2011 Baseball World Cup. He pitched well in his first game, holding the Dominican national team to 3 hits and 2 runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 before Luca Panerati relieved but lost to Ángel Castro, who threw a shutout. He only lasted 3 1/3 innings against Venezuela (6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K); Alessandro Maestri took over. His 3.12 ERA for the Cup nearly mirrored Italy's 3.08.
In the 2012 European Cup, he struggled against the L&D Amsterdam Pirates with 7 hits and 3 runs in 4 1/3 IP; he got no-decision as Cubillan took the loss in relief. He was 6-1 with a 2.09 ERA for San Marino in the 2012 Italian Baseball League, walking only 15 in 81 2/3 innings. He tied Rodriguez and Francisco Cruceta for 9th in wins, was 4th in ERA (after Matteo D'Angelo, Juan Figueroa and Pete Sikaras) and tied Chris Cooper for 9th with 72 K. He went the distance in Game 3 of the 2012 Italian Series to beat Rimini; San Marino repeated as the titlists.
The 27-year-old pitched four innings of a combined no-hitter against Croatia in the 2012 European Championship; the only baserunner came on a walk to Michel Čurić. Carlos Richetti completed the no-no. He next pitched a shutout inning against Greek. His third game was another gem; against Germany, he struck out 10 and walked none in eight innings of shutout ball, allowing six hits to outduel Luke Sommer. Holding a 1-0 lead in the 8th, with two on and two out, he retired future MLB star Max Kepler. Nick Pugliese saved the game for him. Among players in the championship round, no one pitched more innings without an earned run. Italy repeated as titlists.
In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he squared off against Edinson Vólquez and got a no-decision against the title-bound Dominicans. He had a 3.12 ERA for the Classic and his 8 2/3 IP led Italy, 1 1/3 ahead of Maestri. In the first three World Baseball Classics, he tied Jason Grilli for the second-most innings for Italy, behind only Maestri.
His lone start in the 2013 European Cup was a good one as he blanked Amsterdam over 8 innings (3 H, 3 BB, 6 K) before Cubillan closed it out. He led the Cup in ERA, .87 ahead of Luca Martignoni. His .120 opponent average was 2nd, .005 behind Adam Clerici. He was his usual dominant self in the 2013 IBL (12-1, 2.07). He was 9th in ERA (between Filippo Crepaldi and Angel Calero), 4th in opponent average (.187, between Cubillan and Enorbel Marquez), 2nd in IP (117 2/3, one behind Jose Sanchez), 2nd in K (126, 17 behind Sanchez) and tied Sanchez for 1st in wins. In the 2013 Italian Series, he lost Game 2 to Rimini but came back to win Game 4 as San Marino completed the three-peat.
He made his Venezuelan Winter League debut with the 2013-2014 Leones del Caracas, going 2-1 with a save and a 3.34 ERA. He was the 4th Brazilian to play in the league, following José Pett, Andre Rienzo and Paulo Orlando. He moved from being a star in San Marino to a star in Mexico, signing with the Delfines de Ciudad del Carmen and going 7-4 with 29 saves, a 2.07 ERA, .90 WHIP and 75 K in 61 IP in 2014. He was second in the Mexican League in saves, four behind Pedro Rodríguez.
Returning to Europe for the 2014 European Championship, he closed out the win over Belgium. Relieving Pat Venditte with a 8-7 lead and two outs in the 8th, he struck out three of four batters (Vincent King, Yoni Vischschoonmaker and Dennis Ribbens; Robin Roevens grounded out). Relieving Venditte in the 8th, he closed out a win over Germany and allowed a Ludwig Glaser single but then retired six in a row, half by Ks. He saved Venditte's 6-4 win over Spain, striking out Jesús Golindano and Jesús Ustariz and getting Blake Ochoa on a grounder. Finally, in the Gold Medal Game against the Netherlands, he replaced Escalona in the 6th with a 4-0 deficit. He gave up a hit to Hainley Statia and walked Curt Smith then struck out Gianison Boekhoudt and Kalian Sams. Shawn Zarraga hit into a run-scoring error before Yurendell de Caster grounded out. After italy scored three in the 7th, he retired Sharlon Schoop, yielded a Nick Urbanus double and retired Randolph Oduber and Statia. Venditte relieved; Italy would lose, 6-3.
Da Silva was 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 30 games for Caracas in 2014-2015; he was 7th in the league in appearances. He was 2-0 in the postseason for the Caribes de Anzoátegui as they won the title then allowed one run in three innings in the 2015 Caribbean Series. He was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays and spent time with the Dunedin Blue Jays (2-0, 3.52 ERA, 21 K:3 BB in 15 1/3 IP) and New Hampshire Fisher Cats (0-1, 4.91 in 4 G) before returning to Mexico. With the Delfines that summer, he moved out of the closer role but was again one of their top pitchers, this time as a swingman (3.22 ERA, though his record was only 2-6).
Switching Venezuelan teams, he was 6-0 with a 2.54 ERA for the 2015-2016 Cardenales de Lara. He was second in the league in wins, one behind Raúl Rivero (who also would spend years pitching in Italy). He split the summer between the Delfines (0-2, 18 Sv, 2.06 in 31 G) and the Rieleros de Aguascalientes (2-1, 7 Sv, 3.46 in 24 G). He was 4th in the LMB in saves, behind Arcenio Leon, Chad Gaudin and Jason Urquidez.
He then appeared in his fifth straight European Championship, the 2016 European Championship. He got the win over France, with two shutout innings (2 H, 5 K) between Carlos Teran and Pugliese. Relieving Escalona in the 4th with a 3-2 lead over Spain, he allowed one run in three, when Fernando Martínez's sacrifice fly scored Engel Beltre then turned it over to Teran. He was excellent at containing the champion Netherlands, relieving Panerati with a 1-0 deficit in the 3rd and allowing six hits and fanning three in five shutout innings; Fraylin Florian took over with a 3-1 lead but Da Silva was denied the win when the Dutch rallied. Italy finished third, behind the Netherlands and Spain.
The Brazilian was 3-2 with 3 saves and a 2.43 ERA for the 2016-2017 Cardenales, then was 2-1 in the postseason. In the 2017 Caribbean Series, he reinforced the Águilas del Zulia and was 1-0 with three shutout innings, getting the victory over the Tigres del Licey and Juan Grullon. He pitched for Italy in the 2017 World Baseball Classic but the geniuses at MLB erased historical stats from the WBC site (in early 2020; still unavailable as of August 2021).
Back in a closer role with the Generales de Durango in 2017, he went 1-1 with 24 saves and a 2.45 ERA. He was 6th in the league in saves, between José Valverde and Raul Barron. That winter, he was 2-0 with a save and a 2.95 ERA for Lara in the regular season then allowed one run in one postseason inning. The Mexican League went to a split season in 2018. Now a starting pitcher again, he was 7-1 with a 3.19 ERA for the Generales in the spring campaign. He tied Raúl Valdés for 3rd in wins. In the fall season, he was 6-3 with a 4.89 ERA. He tied for 3rd in wins. No one won more games in the Mexican League in 2018.
After representing Italy from 2009-2017, he played for Brazil for the first time in 16 years when he was with them for the 2019 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament. He took the loss against Mexico, going four innings and allowing eight hits, two walks and four runs (four earned) before Leonardo Oliveira relieved. He was back with Durango that summer, but struggled (3-9, 10 Sv, 6.36) for the first time in his career since he played in Taiwan 15 years prior. He tied for 10th in the league in losses.
In winter ball, he bounced back with the Yaquis de Obregón (1-0, 1.59) and the Tigres de Aragua (4-1, 4 Sv, 2.55). He tied for 7th in the LVBP in wins, ranked 6th in ERA (between Rivero and Francisley Bueno) and was 8th in saves. He was on Brazil's roster for the 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers before those were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic also wiped out the 2020 Mexican League season. He expanded his list of countries played in when he was with the 2020-2021 Gigantes del Cibao (0-1, 9 R in 6 IP).
The Mexican League was back in 2021; he was 3-4 with 2 Sv and a 6.29 ERA, though that handily beat the team ERA of 7.32! He then returned to San Marino for the 2021 Italian Series. In Game 1, he allowed a tying 9th-inning run to Bologna when Osman Marval singled in Filippo Agretti but got the win over Elián Leyva in the 12th inning; he allowed only one run in five. He started Game 4 and tossed a gem (4 H, 12 K in 8 IP) to beat Alex Bassani, the 2020 Italian Series MVP. He was named 2021 Italian Series MVP; he led the Series in wins and was 2nd in ERA (.15 behind Henry Centeno and K (16, 2 behind Centeno).
Da Silva's spongy curly hair once earned him the nickname "Sponge Bob" among fellow Team Brazil players.
- Italian Baseball and Softball Federation (Italian)
- Defunct IBAF site
- Baseball.it (Italian)
- Defunct European Baseball Confederation site
- Wiki Baseball (Chinese)
- Old World Baseball Classic site
- 2019 Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament Stats Report