5/21 Pirates 5, Cubs 4

Matt Garza had a solid debut but it wasn’t enough. Travis Snider spoiled Garza’s return with a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth off Shawn Camp to lift the Pirates to a 5-4 victory over the Cubs Tuesday night.

In his first start since July 21, Garza walked three, struck out five, and gave up one hit, a soft single to right by Clint Barmes with one out in the fifth. The plan was to limit Garza to 80-90 pitches, and he was lifted afer 82. He had missed the second half of 2012 because of right elbow problems and strained his left lat Feb. 17. After having his patience tested, Garza finally made his season debut.

“It’s nice to have that kind of caliber starter back in your rotation,” Dale Sveum said.

Garza is the most animated player in the dugout on days he’s not pitching but tends to keep to himself before his starts, watching videos on his iPad.

“I think the first inning will be the key as to how things will go,” Sveum said. “There’s no question in all of our minds he’ll be pumped up out there.”

The right-hander threw 22 pitches, 12 for strikes, in the first and was saved by Julio Borbon, who snared Andrew McCutchen’s fly ball on the run, then slammed into the fence.

Alfonso Soriano and Welington Castillo each singled in the second, and with two outs, Darwin Barney delivered a RBI single. Garza then doubled into the gap in right center to drive in two more and open a 3-0 lead. Cubs pitchers now have 13 RBIs this month, tops in the Major Leagues. It was Garza’s second career double.

The Pirates loaded the bases with one out in the sixth against Hector Rondon, and James Russell took over and walked Pedro Alvarez to force in a run. Camp replaced Russell, and one out later, Snider launched a 2-1 pitch into the center field bleachers for his first career grand slam.

Before the game, Sveum was asked about the importance of having Garza back in the rotation.

“To have the ability to have guys who have no-hitter type stuff going out there is always a nice asset to have,” Sveum said.

Garza nearly pulled it off.

— Carrie Muskat


that would be barney…. raised his average to a whopping 226… YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t get your hope up bud

Mamma Mia- As you can see Petrey already answered your question about who got the 4 hits last night so nicely. But I will say it was great to see Garza back on the mound. I hope he will continue to have a good season.

Hey White, our lil Barney is on the rebound! His “whopping” .223 ba is only .47 behind Soriano’s awe inspiring .270 and his HR total of two is just TWO BEHIND Soriano’s universe leading FOUR…AND Barney needs only 9 more RBI’s to equal Soriano’s MAJESTIC 15!!! Why before you know it, with stats like those BARNEY may be our next CLEAN UP HITTER!!! Keep the faith White (and the kitty!!). Not to mention Barney is SMART on the ball field. If Hoystein hurries a little bit Barney will be part of the core to build around, but Hoystein needs to get moving on the outfield and 3B for sure. I hope YOU continue to have a good season White, you deserve it.

just yesterday you were ready to “DUMP” barney… and now one 4 for 4 game and you want him to be our core again???? LOL MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!! Why are we happy with a ave of 223?

The only one I would like to see run into a brick wall is —- any guesses? You know who you are!

I think I know…..BTW, I never took your comments as wanting to dump Barney, nor did I imply I wanted him dumped. Just that he better improve, which a 4 for 4 showing is indicative and one more thing he has over Soriano this season. I suppose there are some (one) who’s limited intelligence prevents him from understanding humor and being facetious. I am just so grateful for people like you White that have the sense of humor AND intelligence to communicate in a very
meaningful way. Your Barney comments were witty and on point. And there is no “we” when it comes to HWSRN. Did you get the impression Soriano needed to run into a padded brick wall at full speed to make that routine catch last night?… like Sam Fuld, Reed Johnson, David Dejesus, Tony Campana and many others would have done if they NEEDED to do? The thing is, GOOD outfielders would have NO NEED to have run full speed into the wall to catch that routine fly ball.
tsk, tsk, the immature these days…..

I don’t want to see anyone run into a brick or padded wall. This is about a game. It is a child’s game at that. I would like to see Barney continue to improve at the plate; Castro to quit pressing at the plate; and some positive comments about the good things some Cubs are doing and less BS about what ought to be done. I hope the players don’t read this crap. These young men have enough personal pressure on them. They really don’t need this. White your are all right! Joey you are still the best! Momma is right on! Some others are not helping.

Thanks for that Jim. I admit I should try to back of my negative comments re Soriano. But when seeing him react like I did during last night’s game with such a blatant feeble attempt at a routine (not for him evidently, I admit) I am glad he was exposed on TV for the sub-fielder most of us (the observant) fans know him to be. I think him being a veteran tends to make me single him out as I do not get on the backs of the young players. I will try harder to less critical of him as he is doing the best HE can do!

routine catch that is…sorry.

White writes about Garza spending entire season with us. From what I’ve been reading, that is not likely, as we are going to be sellers. Don’t know if I like that, especially if we receive damaged goods in return as was case with the Maholm deal last season. Means our best assets, Garza, Wood, Feldman etc. We will be looking to deal. I know how joey and mamma feel about this subject, but would likebinput from you others.

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