Results tagged ‘ Astros ’
The Cubs acquired two international signing bonus slots (slot numbers two and three) from the Astros for minor league infielder Ronald Torreyes. Torreyes was originally acquired by the Cubs with left-handed pitcher Travis Wood and outfielder Dave Sappelt from Cincinnati for left-handed pitcher Sean Marshall on Dec. 23, 2011. Torreyes batted .260 with two home runs and 25 RBI in 64 games with Double-A Tennessee this season.
Matt Garza’s Spring Training is finally over. The Cubs right-hander, who began the year on the disabled list and didn’t make his first start until May 21, held the Astros to one run over eight plus innings in a 3-1 rain-delayed Interleague victory Friday.
Anthony Rizzo belted a monster leadoff home run in the fourth, Darwin Barney had three hits and needed a triple to complete the cycle, and Scott Hairston added a solo shot in the sixth to power the Cubs, now 7-2 against American League teams this year.
Garza set season highs in innings pitched and strikeouts, and posted his third quality start and second ina row. Among the four hits off the right-hander was a leadoff home run by Chris Carter in the seventh.
“His fastball had life and [he had] command of it, down and away, and in,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He got his ground balls. His slider got better as the game went on. He did a great job.”
Garza may have done too well. In his last two starts, he’s given up one earned run over 15 innings. There were plenty of scouts who waited out the three hour, 18 minute rain delay at the start of the game to see the Cubs pitcher in person. The Trade Deadline isn’t that far away.
“You don’t want to lose a guy who can give up one run in his last 15 innings,” Sveum said. “Obviously, it’s a business, and that’s not part of my business.”
Garza has been rumored to be dealt his entire career. This year is no different.
“I’m looking forward to the next five days,” Garza said, staying focused on the task at hand. “I think I face Milwaukee in Milwaukee and I’ll be ready.”
He was matched up for the second straight game with catcher Dioner Navarro, who was his teammate in Tampa, rather than Welington Castillo.
“[Garza] better listen to me,” Navarro said, laughing.
Navarro then complemented Castillo for the job he’s done. Bottom line, Garza is the one on the mound.
“I’ve got nothing to do with it — he’s the one pitching and he’s the one throwing the ball,” Navarro said.
Garza missed a chance for a complete game after he walked Jose Altuve to open the ninth. Kevin Gregg took over, and closed things out for his 11th save in as many opportunities.
— Carrie Muskat
The Astros will tune up for their first season in the American League by playing their former National League Central Division rivals, the Cubs, in two spring exhibition games March 29-30 at Minute Maid Park. This will be the Cubs’ only visit to Houston in 2013. The two teams do square off at Wrigley Field June 21-23 in Interleague play. Start times for the exhibition games will be 7:05 p.m. CT on March 29 and 1:05 p.m. CT on March 30.
The Cubs close the Cactus League portion of their spring schedule on March 28 and open the 2013 regular season April 1 in Pittsburgh. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report Feb. 10 with the first workout the following day. The full squad was scheduled to report Feb. 16 and will workout the next day under manager Dale Sveum.
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs have one series remaining in the 2012 regular season, and will wrap things up against the Astros, starting Monday night at Wrigley Field. Here are the pitching matchups:
Monday: RHP Jason Berken (0-2, 5.14) vs. RHP Lucas Harrell (10-11, 3.88)
Tuesday: RHP Chris Volstad (3-11, 6.64) vs. RHP Bud Norris (6-13, 4.82)
Wednesday: LHP Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39) vs. RHP Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15)
Anthony Rizzo suffered a bruised right shoulder after colliding with Astros first baseman Brett Wallace in the third inning Tuesday night. Rizzo hit a ground ball to second baseman Jimmy Paredes, who made a high throw to first. Wallace jumped in the air to try and make the catch, but the ball sailed past him. Rizzo got tangled with Wallace, flipped and landed hard on the ground.
“I was really stunned and dazed at first,” Rizzo told reporters in Houston. “I think that’s why I didn’t move. I think I was checking out everything to make sure everything was OK. I got up and I was still stunned, but it kind of wore off. I’m now just more sore than anything.”
Rizzo was able to walk off the field. His teammates razzed him in the clubhouse after the game about his acrobatic ability.
“I looked like a gymnast,” Rizzo said. “I felt like [I was] catapulting a little bit. It was an ugly fall.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are in pursuit of a first baseman this offseason and one option
could be Lance Berkman. He told FoxSports.com that the Cubs are one of
the teams that has talked to his agent. Berkman said the A’s have been
the “most aggressive” but they want someone who will DH. He would like to return to
the National League, which would work in the Cubs’ favor. Berkman made $14.5
million last season and would have to accept less money to sign with the
Berkman, who will be 35 on Feb. 10, said he was limited in 2010 after arthroscopic surgery to clean out his left knee.
probably viewed as a declining player,” Berkman told FoxSports.com. “I
don’t blame teams for thinking like that. But I don’t view myself that
way. If I was to honestly assess where I’m at, I feel like last year was
the result of me being hurt.
“My knee was hurt all year. The
kind of injury I had prevented me from using my legs when I hit. In my
mind, I can scratch that off and say that I’ll be healthy next year, be
the player I was prior to the 2009 season. That’s kind of how I’m
looking at it.
“Obviously, I’ve got to get an opportunity,” he said. “I’ve got to go out there and prove it.”
— Carrie Muskat
In a span of about 57 hours, give or take a few, the Cubs will play in three different ballparks, beginning Sunday in Houston at Minute Maid Park. They have a makeup game Monday at PNC Park in Pittsburgh (11:35 a.m. CT) and then fly to Milwaukee to open a series Tuesday night against the Brewers at Miller Park.
* Last season, the Cubs played three games in three days in three different ballparks when they met the Indians at Wrigley on June 21, 2009; then play at Atlanta, then at Detroit.
* The last time the Cubs played three games in three days in three different road parks was 2004 when they faced Cincinnati on Sept. 19 (a 5-1 win), then played a doubleheader in Florida Sept. 20 (which they split), and then traveled to Pittsburgh Sept. 21 (a 10-inning win). Hurricane Francis in Miami forced that crazy itinerary.
— Carrie Muskat
Justin Berg was sent back to Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday before he had a chance to get into a Major League game. However, he did warm up in the bullpen Monday night and was next in line but the Cubs pulled it out in the 13th against the Astros.
“It’s a little disappointing,” Berg said about not pitching in a game, “but I understand the circumstances. I’ll go back there and pitch like I know how and hopefully get back here as soon as possible.”
Berg was optioned to Iowa to make room on the roster for Ryan Dempster, who was activated from the disabled list.
So, did Berg have good stuff in the pen?
“As I was warming up? It looked pretty good from what I could tell,” he said. “Everyhing felt good and I was really anxious to get in but it didn’t work out that way.”
Before he left, the right-hander did drop off the neon orange backpack in front of Jeff Stevens’ locker. The pitcher with the least amount of service time has to carry the backpack to the bullpen. It’s loaded with gum, candy, whatever.
“I’m sure he’ll be disappointed to see that,” Berg said.
— Carrie Muskat
Lou Piniella has stressed that the Cubs need to score runs to win — simple concept but true. Looking at team batting averages and runs scored since the All-Star break, he’s right.
TEAM: Batting aver. since ASG, Runs, Record
CUBS: .280, 61, 9-2
Reds: .225, 42, 3-8
Astros: .267, 46, 6-5
Brewers: .288, 47, 4-7
Pirates: .236, 39, 5-6
Cardinals: .281, 47, 5-6