Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’
It’s not a good sign when the players with the most RBIs for the month are the pitchers. So far, Cubs pitchers have combined for 13 RBIs in May, and were batting .316 (12-for-38) with two home runs for the month. Outfielder Alfonso Soriano also has driven in 13 runs in May with three home runs.
Among the rest of the Cubs’ batters this month, Anthony Rizzo and Nate Schierholtz each have 10 RBIs in May, Starlin Castro has nine, David DeJesus has eight, catchers Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro have three each, and the third base combo of Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom three total.
In 2011, Cubs pitchers collected five RBIs for the season. Last year, they drove in 11. These pitchers take hitting seriously.
Here’s the pitcher-by-pitcher breakdown and their performance with runners in scoring position. The team is batting .218 with RISP; the pitchers are batting .286 (8-for-28):
Matt Garza 1-for-1 RISP, 2 RBIs
Scott Feldman 3-for-9 RISP, 4 RBIs
Edwin Jackson 1-for-2 RISP, 2 RBIs
Jeff Samardzija 1-for-5 RISP, 2 RBI, 1 HR
Travis Wood 2-for-4 RISP, 3 RBI, 1 HR
Carlos Villanueva 0-for-7 RISP, 0 RBI
– Carrie Muskat
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
The Cubs open a three-game series against the Pirates on Tuesday at PNC Park. Here’s the lineup:
* Right-handed reliever Michael Bowden was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for Matt Garza, who will be making his first start in the big leagues since last July. He missed the second half of last season because of elbow problems, and has been sidelined this year because of a strained left lat, suffered in Spring Training.
* Also, the Cubs claimed right-handed pitcher Eduardo Sanchez off waivers from the Cardinals. He will report to Iowa.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza picked up the win Thursday in Iowa’s 1-0 victory over Tucson. Donnie Murphy drove in the only run with a sacrifice fly in the second. Brooks Raley gave up two hits over three innings in relief for the save.
Ty Wright hit two home runs and drove in four runs to power Tennesseeto a 6-4 victory over Jackson. Arismendy Alcantara, Jonathan Mota and Rafael Lopez each had two hits. A.J. Morris picked up the win in relief.
Dustin Geiger went 3-for-5 and hit his fourth home run but it wasn’t enough as Daytona lost, 12-7, to Charlotte. P.J. Francescon gave up 10 runs (eight earned) on nine hits and five walks over five innings. Geiger now has 30 RBIs, tops on the team.
Kane County scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth to beat Peoria, 5-0, in the first game of a doubleheader. Gioskar Amaya and Marco Hernandez each had three hits, and Amaya drove in three runs. In the second game, Hernandez hit his first home run but Peoria scored six in the third to win, 6-2. Jeimer Candelario had two hits, both doubles. Kane County committed six errors in the second game.
As far as Matt Garza is concerned, he’s ready to return to the Cubs rotation. On Thursday night, Garza gave up two hits, struck out six, hit a batter and did not walk anyone over six scoreless innings for Triple-A Iowa. It was his fourth rehab start, and second with Iowa.
“I don’t need another start down here,” Garza told the Des Moines Register after the game. “There’s no reason for me to stay in the Minor Leagues.”
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the plan is to re-evaluate Garza after Thursday’s outing to decide whether he needs another. Sveum said they wanted him to go 85-95 pitches, and he threw 75, 53 for strikes.
If it’s up to the Garza, he’s ready now.
“I don’t need another one here,” Garza said. “They might differ on opinion but I think all in all, it comes down to what I want and the way I feel. The organization — they’re going to make the call at the end of the day but I think we’re going to collaborate and come to some sort of compromise.”
– Carrie Muskat
Iowa had Wednesday off. The I-Cubs return to action Thursday, playing host to Tucson. Matt Garza is scheduled to start, making his fourth Minor League rehab start, second with Iowa.
Jair Fernandez hit his first home run in Tennessee’s 8-4 loss to Jackson. Eric Jokisch gave up two runs over 6 2/3 innings and did not get a decision. Matt Szczur extended his hitting streak to seven games, and was batting .455 in the stretch.
Austin Kirk gave up six runs on seven hits over four innings in Daytona’s 7-1 loss to Charlotte. Javier Baez singled, and now has hit safely in five of six games. He’s batting .238 overall.
Tayler Scott threw 7 1/3 shutout innings, giving up two hits, in Kane County’s 4-0 win over Peoria. Scott walked two and struck out two. Wilson Contreras had two hits and two RBIs, and Bijan Rademacher and Dan Vogelbach had two hits apiece. Scott now has a 1.47 ERA in three May starts.
Matt Garza’s next rehab start is Thursday, and it could be his last, which will create a problem for the Cubs who have a pretty good rotation right now. Chicago’s starters rank third in the National League with a 3.40 ERA behind the Cardinals and Nationals, and they have posted 23 quality starts with a 1.90 ERA in those games. Garza, on the disabled list because of a strained left lat suffered in a Spring Training workout Feb. 17, will make his fourth Minor League rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa.
“I’m just going for the next one,” Garza said Tuesday. I’m looking forward to Thursday and after Thursday, we’ll make a decision. They want me to get stretched out and get deeper into games, and I guess that’s what I have to do now.”
He threw 66 pitches in his last outing for Double-A Tennessee but it was over 3 1/3 innings. The Cubs want him to go deeper in the game.
“I’ve been throwing strikes, I’ve been working on things I need to work on,” Garza said. “It’s all piecing together. I feel fine and am excited about Thursday.”
But who gets bumped when Garza is ready? Over the weekend, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said they weren’t considering a six-man rotation but on Monday, he said it could be a possibility.
“It’s a tough decision because everybody has pitched pretty well,” Sveum said. “It’s going to be one of those things that will be unfortunate for somebody but it’s a reality and it’s going to happen.”
Carlos Villanueva, who started Tuesday, has the most experience as a swingman.
“It might lean to who we’re playing that series, the matchups,” Sveum said. “Maybe you go to a six-man rotation for a week because of matchups. You never know what the bullpen is like. A lot of things come into play. We’ll make that decision — and I know you guys are going to keep asking this question every day. It’s not going to change.”
Travis Wood posted his eighth straight quality start on Monday, and has a 2.03 ERA. Scott Feldman has a 2.53 ERA in his seven starts, which include a complete game win.
“I guess that’s the best problem to have,” Garza said about everyone doing well. “I want to pitch. I’m not getting ready for no reason. The guys are doing great. I’ve got to really step into it and gear up for it. I’m excited to come back and chomping. I’m not looking forward to anything past Thursday.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Matt Garza’s next Minor League rehab outing will be Thursday for Triple-A Iowa, and the team will make a decision after that as to whether the right-hander is ready to be activated. Garza is rehabbing from a left lat strain suffered in Spring Training. In his last Minor League outing on Saturday, he gave up three hits and walked two over 3 1/3 innings for Double-A Tennessee. It was his third Minor League rehab start, and he threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Garza threw with a lot of “aggressiveness” in his bullpen session on Monday.
“We just have to get him built up so he can at least go out there for [six innings],” Sveum said.
* Third baseman Luis Valbuena, who sprained the little finger on his right hand sliding into third base on Saturday, was available to pinch-hit. Valbuena has his little finger and ring finger taped together while he does drills. He would not have started Tuesday against Rockies lefty Jeff Francis, so Valbuena will get at least one extra day to rest, Sveum said.
* Cubs pitcher Edwin Jackson hosted his fourth “Edwin’s Entourage” event on Monday at Wrigley Field. He created the event to create awareness of baseball to younger African American males. More than 40 participants from local youth leagues, ages 11-18, took part.
* Arodys Vizcaino, who is on the 60-day disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery, was in Chicago to be examined by the team doctors. The right-hander, whom the Cubs acquired in July 2012 from the Braves in the Paul Maholm deal, underwent the surgery early in 2012.
– Carrie Muskat
* Last year at the Trade Deadline, the Cubs were sellers. That may be the case again this year if they don’t rally. GM Jed Hoyer said he feels there’s still time for the Cubs to get on track. Sveum agrees.
“We’ve lost so many games we’ve had control over,” Sveum said Sunday. “We know this record could be flip-flopped with a little better play because the pitching has kept us in so many games.”
The Cubs have 21 quality starts, yet have won eight of those games. Thirty-three of their 36 games have been decided by four runs or less, and 28 have been decided by three runs or less.
However, the Cubs are in rebuilding mode, and Sveum knows what that means.
“You know things like that are possible and you weigh all the options and what’s best for the organization,” Sveum said. “Those are things you have to do sometimes. It’s not that easy to see Dempster and Maholm go somewhere else but it is part of the game. We’re trying to ge this thing completely healthy.”
* Luis Valbuena was able to play catch and hit in the batting cage on Sunday, one day after spraining the little finger on his right hand sliding into third base. Valbuena was not in the lineup against Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez, but was available to pinch-hit, manager Dale Sveum said. Valbuena was not expected to go on the disabled list. With one out in the fifth Saturday, Valbuena doubled to right but was tagged sliding into third trying to stretch his hit and jammed his hand on the bag. X-rays showed no fracture, and Valbuena received treatment. He was batting .272 with five home runs and 13 RBIs this season.
* Matt Garza will make at least one more Minor League rehab start, and possibly two, after his abbreviated outing on Saturday. Garza gave up three hits and walked two over 3 1/3 innings Saturday for Double-A Tennessee in his third Minor League rehab start, throwing 66 pitches, 40 for strikes. He struck out two.
“He felt great and everything, but not real efficient,” Dale Sveum said Sunday. “Right now, we have to get him built up to get to the fourth, fifth and hopefully sixth inning.”
Garza will be in Chicago this week when the Cubs return for a three-game homestand against the Rockies, and make his next start for Triple-A Iowa.
It will be tough to eliminate one of the starters from the mix. Edwin Jackson is the only pitcher who has struggled, and he’s not a candidate to move to the bullpen.
“It ain’t going to be easy,” Sveum said about moving one of the starters. “Part of it sometimes, when you have these decisions … it’s a good problem to have, but for the individual, nobody deserves it. They’re pitching perfectly fine. It isn’t going to be the easiest thing to do.”
* With an off day scheduled for Thursday, the Cubs will not tweak their rotation but keep everyone on schedule, Sveum said. Travis Wood, Carlos Villanueva and Jeff Samardzija will face the Rockies in a three-game series at Wrigley Field that starts Monday.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Garza gave up three hits and walked two over 3 1/3 innings Saturday for Double-A Tennessee in his third Minor League rehab start. Garza threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes, and struck out two. Dale Sveum said the right-hander will make at least one more rehab start for Triple-A Iowa in five days, and then be re-evaluated. Garza is coming back from a strained left lat suffered in mid February during live batting practice. The plan Saturday was to have Garza throw 65-75 pitches. He needed 30 pitches to get through the first inning.
– Carrie Muskat