Results tagged ‘ Dioner Navarro ’

6/22 Garza and Navarro

In his last two starts, Matt Garza has given up one earned run over 15 innings. Dioner Navarro was his catcher both games, but Cubs manager Dale Sveum doesn’t want to play favorites. In Garza’s five previous starts, Welington Castillo was behind the plate, and the pitcher was 1-1 with a 6.26 ERA. The right-hander was roughed up in his last outing with Castillo on June 11, giving up nine runs over five innings.

“I’m not going to sit here and say [Navarro] is his personal catcher,” Sveum said Saturday. “It worked out that way. I really wanted ‘Welly’ to catch all four games in St. Louis to kind of just be involved with [Yadier Molina], the best catcher in baseball, to see the similarities, to compete against the best guy in baseball because we want ‘Welly’ to get to that level, or somewhat near it. I really wanted him to play those four games against the Cardinals, so the schedule panned out to where Navarro would get [Garza].”

Sveum said he can tell Garza is comfortable with Navarro. The two were teammates in Tampa from 2008-10. But Sveum doesn’t like the idea of a personal catcher because it sends a bad message to Castillo, who the Cubs consider their No. 1 guy. The Cubs also want Garza to perform at his best.

“When a guy’s on the mound, no matter what, it’s still whatever you want to call it, it’s his game,” Sveum said. “That’s why starting pitching is where everything starts at and you still want those guys to be comfortable.”

If Castillo continues to work four days on, one off, it seems that Navarro will be matched up again with Garza for his next start in Milwaukee.

“I’m not going to lie to you and say it’s not a thought [to pair them together], but only if it works out,” Sveum said. “I’m not going to put [Navarro] in there for that reason.”

Garza can work with other catchers. When he threw his no-hitter July 26, 2010, for the Rays against the Tigers, Kelly Shoppach was the catcher.

– Carrie Muskat

6/21 Cubs 3, Astros 1

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

6/21 Extra bases

* For the second straight game, catcher Dioner Navarro was matched up with Cubs pitcher Matt Garza. The two were teammates on the Rays, and Garza wasn’t happy with Welington Castillo after a June 11 game against the Reds when he gave up a season-high nine runs over five innings. Manager Dale Sveum said timing was more the reason Navarro was behind the plate Friday.

“It’s just a matter of having a quick turnover, playing two games in 24 hours, you’ve got to get Navarro in there,” Sveum said.

The Cubs played a night game in St. Louis Thursday, and had a day game Friday against the Astros. With Navarro in his last start Sunday against the Mets, Garza threw seven shutout innings.

* The Cubs are mulling possible roster moves, Sveum said. The team was carrying eight relievers, adding a pitcher after outfielder David DeJesus went on the disabled list last Saturday because of a sprained right shoulder.

– Carrie Muskat

6/21 Cubs lineup

The Cubs open a brief homestand Friday against the Astros, and it’s not the Astros of the past, but the new American League version. The Cubs are 6-2 this year against American League teams. Here’s the lineup, and note that Dioner Navarro is behind the plate for Matt Garza. Dale Sveum said the reason is because Welington Castillo had caught four days in a row, and it was a tough turnaround to play a day game after a night game.

Barney 2B
Ransom 3B
Soriano LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Navarro C
Hairston RF
Sweeney CF
Garza P

6/16 Cubs lineup

Even though Welington Castillo had caught all of Matt Garza’s previous starts, the Cubs pitcher said he wasn’t comfortable with the catcher in his last outing. No excuses Sunday. Dioner Navarro is behind the plate for Garza’s start vs. the Mets in the series finale. Here’s the lineup:

Valbuena 3B
Castro SS
Schierholtz RF
Soriano LF
Rizzo 1B
Navarro C
Sweeney CF
Barney 2B
Garza P

5/29 Extra bases

* Scott Feldman improved to 4-1 with a 1.64 ERA in five career starts at Wrigley Field. He’s 5-1 in his last seven starts after opening the season 0-3.

“He was able to get through it and manage innings and make big pitches when he had to,” Dale Sveum said. “That’s one thing that he seems to do is get in a little bit of trouble, and you see the wheels come off and, bam, here’s the good stuff and the location in big situations.”

* The Cubs have won three in a row, and seem to be playing better baseball after Sunday’s come from behind win over the Reds.

“All of a sudden, it seems like everybody is having good at-bats and everybody is contributing,” Sveum said. “Everybody is getting a little bit of playing time and doing a nice job.”

* Wednesday’s game drew 31,279, the smallest crowd at Wrigley Field for a Cubs-White Sox game since the Interleague series began in 1997.

“I know our guys have been talking about it prior to this,” Sveum said of the intracity series. “It’s a series that sometimes, when you’re in a little bit of a lull, it gets you going because of the intensity and you know everybody in Chicago is watching and throughout the country sometimes because it is a crosstown rivalry, like the Mets and Yankees type thing. These are the series that get you going back in the right direction because the adrenaline is at another level.”

* David DeJesus is batting .349 in 23 games at Wrigley Field.

* Former Blackhawks coach Denis Savard sang the seventh inning stretch. Several of the Cubs players, including Dioner Navarro, were headed to the game Wednesday night.

– Carrie Muskat

5/29 Cubs 9, White Sox 3

In the sixth inning, Dioner Navarro’s bat went flying into the stands behind the Cubs dugout as he swung at a pitch. Usually players just grab another bat but Navarro wanted that one back, and for good reason. Navarro notched his first career multi-homer game Wednesday, hitting three and driving in six runs in the Cubs’ 9-3 Interleague victory over their intracity rivals, the White Sox. And he used the same bat for each home run.

“He did his best little [Lionel] Messi impression today with the hat trick,” Anthony Rizzo said of Navarro, who is a huge soccer fan and wears a Messi shirt every day before games.

Navarro hit a solo homer in the second, a two-run shot in the fourth, and a three-run blast in the seventh. He set a career-high with six RBIs, and is the first Cubs player to record a three-homer game since Aramis Ramirez did so July 20, 2010, against the Astros. You have to go back to April 17, 1974, for the last time a Cubs catcher hit three in a game. That was George Mitterwald’s big game against the Pirates.

All the offense won’t get Navarro more playing time, though.

“[Welington] Castillo’s our starting catcher,” Dale Sveum said. “Let’s not get carried away with a guy having a great game. … It’s just nice to have a backup catcher doing the things he does and handling the pitchers he handles.”

Navarro’s first two blasts came from the right side of the plate; his third was as a left-handed hitter, and he’s the first to homer from both sides of the plate since the Cubs’ Mark Bellhorn did so Aug. 29, 2002, at Milwaukee. And all with the same bat.

“I’m a really superstitious guy, and I had a good feeling for that bat,” Navarro said.

He had never hit three home runs in a single game.

“I hit two one time in Little League,” he said. “That was about it.”

He’ll be back on the bench on Thursday but using the same bat in BP. What if it breaks?

“I’m going to cry,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

5/29 Navarro hits 3 HRs

Dioner Navarro notched his first career multi-home run game Wednesday, hitting a solo homer in the second, a two-run shot in the fourth, and a three-run blast in the seventh. He also set a career-high with six RBIs. Navarro is the first Cubs player to record a three-homer game since Aramis Ramirez did so July 20, 2010, against the Astros. He also the first Cubs catcher to collect three home runs in a game since George Mitterwald on April 17, 1974, against the Pirates.

Navarro’s first two blasts came from the right side of the plate; his third was as a left-handed hitter, and he’s the first to homer from both sides of the plate since the Cubs’ Mark Bellhorn did so Aug. 29, 2002, at Milwaukee.

In his only at-bat when he didn’t connect, Navarro drew a walk. But it was important. In the Cubs sixth, Scott Hairston singled and Navarro walked, although he lost his bat as it flew into the stands on a swing. A fan was nice enough to return it — it’s most likely the one he used for the home runs. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice, and one scored on a wild pitch. Pinch-hitter Ryan Sweeney added a RBI single.

– Carrie Muskat

5/28 Cubs lineup

Edwin Jackson will start Tuesday in Game 2 of the Cubs-White Sox, four-game, home and road Interleague series. Dioner Navarro is the designated hitter for the Cubs, who must deal with tough lefty Chris Sale. Here’s the lineup:

Borbon CF
Castro SS
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Hairston RF
Castillo C
Ransom 3B
Navarro DH
Barney 2b

5/24 Extra bases

* Alfonso Soriano did not start Friday, getting a breather in the Cubs’ first game of a three-game series against the Reds. Manager Dale Sveum said Soriano, 37, will definitely be in the lineup for next week’s Interleague series against the White Sox, which starts Monday. Soriano is one option as the designated hitter, and Sveum said he’s also considering Dioner Navarro and Welington Castillo.

The Cubs were expected to face lefties Jose Quintana and Chris Sale in the first two games against the White Sox. Sveum has hinted he’ll tweak the lineup he’s used so far against southpaw starters and include some of the left-handed hitters. Any hints?

“I don’t know,” Sveum said. “Wait and see.”

* Starlin Castro, who appeared to injure his right ankle sliding into second base on Thursday, was in the lineup on Friday. The shortstop now has appeared in 243 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the National League, and second longest in baseball. Prince Fielder has appeared in 389 games in a row.

“I’m good to go,” Castro said.

* The Cubs have not hit a home run on the road since April 28 in Miami.

– Carrie Muskat

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