Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

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

6/20 Cubs vs. Astros

The Cubs will play a familiar opponent on Friday, but the Astros now are part of the American League, and this will be an Interleague series. No DH — they’ll play National League rules. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Matt Garza (1-1, 4.98) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (4-3, 4.23)
Saturday: LHP Travis Wood (5-6, 2.74) vs. RHP Bud Norris (5-7, 3.64)
Sunday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (4-7, 3.35) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (4-1, 3.22)

6/17 Extra bases

* After Sunday’s game in which he threw seven shutout innings, Cubs pitcher Matt Garza said he hoped to be matched up with Dioner Navarro as his catcher in the future. Manager Dale Sveum wouldn’t guarantee that. He didn’t think the difference Sunday was the catcher, but Garza.

“I make of it a guy having command of his fastball,” Sveum said. “When you have command of your fastball down and away, in any kind of format in the big leagues, you’re going to have success.”

Welington Castillo had caught Garza’s five previous starts, including a game May 31 against the Diamondbacks, when the right-hander gave up two runs over seven innings and picked up the win.

“[Castillo] has caught the other guys pretty well,” Sveum said. “He’s done a great job. However it works out, it works out. Welington Castillo has put himself in a situation where he’s caught the [Scott] Feldman’s and the [Travis] Wood’s and the [Jeff] Samardzija’s great outings. The things he’s done for all these guys is well and above what a young catcher is supposed to do.”

So, is Garza frustrated or making excuses?

“You can call it what you want,” Sveum said. “When you have fastball command, you can have an [Class] ‘A’ ball catcher catching.”

* Instead of adding another outfielder, the Cubs activated reliever Shawn Camp from the disabled list on Saturday, which leaves them a little short-handed as far as position players go. Sveum said there will be no change in the immediate future.

“Right now, it’s coming in handy having that extra guy,” Sveum said.

* Alfonso Soriano was visibly upset after Sunday’s loss to the Mets in which Carlos Marmol blew a three-run lead in the ninth.

“For the position players in that clubhouse as well as some of our starting pitchers, a lot of our starting pitchers, it’s been frustrating to beat a lot of teams and have games won after seven innings, whatever our record is after the seventh inning, and have a run differential of where we are,” Sveum said. “It wears on you after a while as a player.”

The Cubs have 21 losses in games in which they’ve had a lead.

* Left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny, the Cubs’ second-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft, apparently has signed with the team. Zastryzny tweeted on Monday: “Officially part of the Chicago Cubs organization. Thanks for all the support and I can’t wait to start the journey. #Cubs”

The Cubs have yet to confirm any Draft pick signings.

– Carrie Muskat

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

6/13 Cubs vs. Mets

The Cubs hit the road after Thursday’s game, beginning with a three-game series in New York. Here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76) vs. RHP Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96)
Saturday: RHP Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.22) vs. LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.24)
Sunday: RHP Matt Garza (1-1, 6.26) vs. RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 4.11)

6/12 Sveum backs Castillo

After Tuesday’s game, Cubs pitcher Matt Garza said he didn’t feel he’d found a good rhythm yet with catcher Welington Castillo.

“Being in this game for as many seasons as I have, I need to take control and I need to guide him through it,” Garza said. “I’m not doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m going to get ready in five days and try to make it right.”

Castillo has caught every one of Garza’s five starts this season.

“[Garza] pitched a pretty good game with [Castillo] behind the plate a couple outings ago,” manager Dale Sveum said of the right-hander’s May 31 start against the Diamondbacks, when he gave up two earned runs over seven innings. That also was Garza’s only win.

“If you get the ball up, it doesn’t matter who’s catching,” Sveum said.

That was the problem for Garza on Tuesday against the Reds when he served up a career high nine runs. Sveum said he does support pitchers who feel more comfortable with one catcher.

“In this case, it was definitely not warranted,” Sveum said.

– Carrie Muskat

6/11 Cubs lineup

The Cubs play the Reds in the second game of their four-game series on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. Here’s the lineup:

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

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