2/27 Garza gets 1st hit

Matt Garza wasn’t too bothered by his pitching line from his first game with the Cubs. He had a ball in his locker from his first hit — ever.

Garza, who has spent his entire career in the American League, led off the fourth with a single down the first base line. Someone from the A’s threw the ball into the Cubs dugout so Garza would have the souvenir.

“That’s exciting,” Garza said. “I’ve been working with [hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo] and a bunch of the other coaches and before the game I was out there swinging with ‘Z’ and Rudy was watching and said, ‘Hey, get ready earlier and try to put the bat on the ball.’ That’s what I was trying to do is not strike out and look foolish.”

When he got to first, Oakland’s Daric Barton told him not to smile but Garza couldn’t help it.

“I said, ‘Dude, it’s my first hit,'” Garza said. “He said, ‘Just turn around and smile.’ It’s a good jumping off point.”

The Cubs were laughing about it.

“Today my job was to get outs and I got six of them,” Garza said, “but not the way I wanted to go about it. It’s spring, I wasn’t throwing any breaking balls today, just fastballs and changeups. My location was off. It’s spring. At least the ball felt good coming out of my hand, it felt very explosive towards home plate. Everything that needs to be there is there.”

— Carrie Muskat

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