Tag:Matt Garza
Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:00 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 8:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Good starts, bad finishes

Aaron Harang

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Aaron Harang, Padres: In his last two outings, Harang has combined to throw 13 scoreless innings and allow just five hits since coming off the disabled list and the Pades have no wins to show for it. On Saturday he left after six no-hit innings only to see the Padres lose in the ninth inning. Thursday, Harang gave up five hits, but struck out four and walked one during his seven innings. He left the game with a 1-0 lead to the Padres' usually stellar bullpen. But after Mike Adams' scoreless eighth, Heath Bell blew his second save of the season when Aubrey Huff homered to lead off the ninth. The Padres would go ahead and lose in the 12th (see below).

Matt Garza, Cubs: Garza has had some bad luck in his first season with the Cubs, entering Thursday's start with a 4-7 record and 4.26 ERA, but with an xFIP of 2.86 -- xFIP is a metric that is supposed to take out the factors the pitch can't control, such as having Starlin Castro as your shortstop and the ballpark, which is the x part. Anyway Thursday Garza had just his second scoreless start of the season, holding the Marlins scoreless through seven innings, giving up six hits and three walks while striking out six and lowering his ERA to 3.97. Like Harang, Garza was in line for the win until the game got to his closer (see below).

Derek Holland, Rangers: Unlike the other two, Holland didn't let anyone else screw up his start. Holland allowed five hits in his second-straight shutout. The 24-year-old lefty went just 2/3 of an inning in his first start of July, but then shutout Oakland last week and Seattle on Thursday. Holland allowed five hits and a walk and struck out eight and took a perfect game into the sixth inning before walking the first batter he faced and then giving up a single to Chone Figgins. Unlike Garza or Harang, Holland picked up the W, improving to 8-4 with a 4.32 ERA.


Luke Gregerson, Padres: Bell blew his second save of the season, but it was Gregorson who picked up the loss for San Diego in the 12th inning against the Giants. The right-hander started the 12th with two walks and then committed an error to load the bases. After getting a popup and a strikeout, he threw four straight balls to Mike Fontenot to give San Francisco the lead. Pablo Sandoval's two-run single was the first hit of the inning and ended Gregorson's night in the 6-2 loss.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs: It wasn't just that Marmol walked the first three batters he faced in the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead, it was that after he gave up a double to Greg Dobbs, he failed to back up the play. It was apparent he expected all three runs to score, and they would have easily scored had Dewayne Wise not fallen after rounding third. The ball got past catcher Geovany Soto and with Marmol out of position, Wise was able to score. He then walked Emilio Bonifacio before being replaced by Kerry Wood, who allowed both of his inherited runners to score as the Marlins scored all six of their runs in the ninth, winning 6-3.

Blake Wood, Royals: Coming in to try to keep the Royals within a run over the Twins, Wood loaded the bases and then walked Ben Revere to score one run and followed that by hitting Alexi Casilla to make it 6-3. He was replaced by Everett Teaford who gave up a two-run single to Joe Mauer to close the book on Wood. Teaford was replaced by Louis Coleman, who got out of the inning, but the damage was done in Kansas City's 8-4 loss.

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Posted on: July 14, 2011 5:08 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 5:25 pm
 

On Deck: Sanchez/Garza kicks off second half

On Deck

By Evan Brunell


SanchezGarzaBEST MATCHUP: We all know how poorly the Marlins fared in June during a streak that saw manager Edwin Rodriguez resign in favor of new skipper Jack McKeon. Well, Florida is working on a five-game streak that they'll put up against the Cubs with Anibal Sanchez in tow. Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter way back in 2006, is hoping to shake off a lousy start to July that raised his ERA to 3.58. Still one of the better pitchers in the game, Sanchez has been bandied about as a possible trade candidate if the Marlins can't sustain their newfound winning ways leading up to the trade deadline. Matt Garza will toe the mound for Chicago, no stranger to trade rumors himself as he was dealt from Tampa Bay to Chicago in the offseason and was recently linked to the Red Sox. Garza, despite his 4.26 ERA, has strong peripherals and will be a difficult pitcher for Florida to handle. Marlins vs. Cubs, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

HollandHOLLAND ROLLING
: Manager Ron Washington was so pleased by Derek Holland's four-hitter before the break that the lefty drew the first start after the break despite an up-and-down season. Holland will be charged with defending a seven-game winning streak against the Mariners, who will send Jason Vargas to the mound. In a battle of lefties, Vargas has the better numbers but at just age 24, Holland boasts the better upside. The going is tough when you pitch in Rangers Ballpark, but he's equipped himself well thus far and will have the pitching haven of Safeco Field working for him Thursday night. Holland hasn't quite made the leap toward being an excellent pitcher, but as a middle-of-the-rotation hurler, many teams could do worse. Rangers vs. Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

BrewersRodriguezK-ROD ARRIVES
: Another nice pitching matchup is in store with young Brewers righty Yovani Gallardo going up against Ubaldo Jimenez. Gallardo was once a lock to become a dominating pitcher, but hasn't taken that jump yet. At just age 25, it's not as if Gallardo is useless, especially since many teams would kill to have a No. 2 starter like Gallardo, but for every step forward (reducing his control issues), there's a step back as he's not striking out as many batters as he once was. Jimenez struggled earlier this season, starting off with a 5.86 ERA in his first nine starts, but has posted a 2.52 ERA in eight starts since. But the attention will be on Francisco Rodriguez Thursday night, as the new Brewer is expected to be in uniform. Will he receive a save chance? Unlikely, but he could make an appearance in the game. Brewers vs. Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Red Sox looking for pitching; eyeing Matt Garza

Garza

By Evan Brunell

The Red Sox are on the hunt for pitching and are eyeing Matt Garza of the Cubs, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Garza is certainly a good target for Boston as the club is scrambling for pitching. After opening the year with what was thought to be a deep rotation with Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka, the latter four have either been injured or ineffective at points this season. Lately, their rotation has been a mish-mash of backups keeping the club in contention, so it's no surprise the Red Sox are targeting a pitcher. It's also no surprise that a big name like Garza is being targeted, as he is battle-tested in the AL East and would give the BoSox a fearsome rotation in coming seasons.

The one problem is that the Cubs, despite a 37-55 record, have eyes on competing sooner rather than later. With Garza locked up through 2013 through arbitration, Chicago is in no rush to deal Garza.

That doesn't mean it's impossible. The 27-year old is making $5.95 million this year and sure to see that contract skyrocket to at least double figures by the end of 2013. Even though the Cubs can afford that deal, it's still a pretty penny to pay. To deal Garza, the Cubs are going to ask for an arm and a leg -- right around what they gave up. That includes a major-league ready arm to replace Garza.

You won't see Boston dealing Buchholz anytime soon, but the BoSox could offer up Felix Doubront or Kyle Weiland, two young starters who have already made their major-league debut. While their ceilings are nowhere as high as Garza's is, they are capable of being middle-of-the-order starters. The Red Sox can also part with other young players, perhaps right fielders Josh Reddick or Ryan Kalish, given the club will need a right-fielder after the season. If the Cubs want to save some money in 2011, they could send Kosuke Fukudome to the Red Sox along with the remaining balance of his $14.5 million deal. As logical as that would be, Fukudome is a left-handed hitter, and the Red Sox need a right-handed outfielder.

Still, the pieces remain there for a trade to be consummated if both sides have the desire. It will be difficult to get any type of deal done, but it can happen.

Garza is currently racking up a 4.26 ERA, but his 2.86 xFIP indicates he's a much better pitcher than his ERA indicates. He's struck out 99 batters in 95 innings, walking 33. As a member of the Rays from 2008-10, he's no stranger to the AL East and has shown his ability to handle the pressure of the division, which makes him all that much more attractive to Boston.

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 5:03 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Offense rules in NL Central

By C. Trent Rosecrans
2011 All-Star Game

SEE THE OTHER DIVISION ALL-STARS: AL East | AL Central | AL West | NL East | NL West

The National League Central has the most teams, some of the game's brightest stars and perhaps its best story in the Pittsburgh Pirates. How deep is the talent in the NL Central? The last two men to win the National League MVP are first basemen in the division and neither makes this NL Central All-Star team. The pitching isn't too deep, at least in terms of starters, but this lineup can absolutely mash the ball.

Ramon HernandezC Ramon Hernandez, Reds: This one is a surprise, as Yadier Molina -- perhaps the game's best defensive catcher -- is an All-Star and a deserving one at that. But the nod here goes to the guy Reds manager Dusty Baker calls "Clutch Man Monie." On opening day, his three-run homer gave the Reds a walk-off victory and he's been producing at the plate since, including a ninth-inning homer yesterday against Brewers closer John Axford and the delivered the game's winning hit in the 13th inning Wednesday night in St. Louis. Hernandez's overall line -- .316/.374/.526 -- makes up for the difference between his defense and Molina's. Molina is hitting a respectable .279/.329/.408, but Clutch Man Monie has been money, especially for a player who is still essentially splitting time with Ryan Hanigan.

Prince Fielder1B Joey Votto, Reds: Votto was the National League MVP in 2010, but Prince Fielder's been the league's MVP for the first half of this season. Fielder is hitting .302/.418/.588 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI, tied for the most in the league. Votto's been good as well, but Fielder's power numbers put him over the top. So why is Votto listed here instead of Fielder? Because as I filled out the lineup card, I looked and had Votto as DH and Fielder at first. Anyone who has seen those two with gloves on their hand know you'd rather have Votto (especially with Starlin Castro also in the infield) playing the field. So Fielder wins the spot, but Votto gets the nod, if that makes sense.

Lineup
No. Name Team Pos
1 Andrew McCutchen PIT CF
2 Rickie Weeks MIL 2B
3 Joey Votto CIN 1B
4 Prince Fielder MIL DH
5 Lance Berkman STL RF
6 Ryan Braun MIL LF
7 Aramis Ramirez CHI 3B
8 Ramon Hernandez CIN C
9 Starlin Castro CHI SS

Rickie Weeks2B Rickie Weeks, Brewers: Another Brewer nips a Red. While Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips is far and away a better defensive player, Weeks is having an incredible offensive season so far. Weeks is hitting .275/.345/.476 with 15 home runs. Phillips has 10 more RBI, but that's not all that surprising considering Weeks is used as a leadoff man. 

Aramis Ramirez3B Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: It's easy for Ramirez to get lost among the Cubs' mounting losses, but the 33-year-old is having a solid season, which may be his last with the Cubs. The Cubs hold a $16 million option on Ramirez for 2012, with a $2 million buyout. The Ricketts family may want to find a cheaper option, but Ramirez has produced this year, hitting .298/.346/.495 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI. He's also playing a decent third base, much better than his reputation would suggest. 

Starlin CastroSS Starlin Castro, Cubs: Sure, he's a mess defensively, but the kid can absolutely rake. Castro is hitting .305/.334/.428 with two home runs and 38 RBI, while stealing 10 bags as well. The 21-year-old is the player the Cubs will build around in the future, and for good cause. He also doesn't have a lot of competition in this division. The Pirates' Ronny Cedeno has been good defensively, but lacking offensively. The Cardinals' Ryan Theriot is hitting well, but was a below-average defensive second baseman and now he's playing short and then there's Yuniesky Betancourt, who has been terrible offensively and defensively.

LF Ryan Braun, Brewers: Talk about a stacked offensive division -- in left field you've got Matt Holliday and Braun. Braun, though gets the nod. He's been healthy (of course, Holliday's problems may make his numbers more impressive) and produced, hitting .320/.402/559 with 16 home runs and 62 RBI. He's also stolen 19 bases to boot.

Andrew McCutchenCF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: If Bruce Bochy doesn't want him, I'll sure as heck take him as my starter in center. A Gold Glove-caliber fielder, plus a .291/.389/.491 slash line and 12 homers and 15 stolen bases. McCutchen should be in the MVP discussion with the season he's had. If it weren't for McCutchen, Michael Bourn would be the pick. Bourn's hitting .288/.350/.399 with 35 stolen bases. Between those two and Cincinnati's Drew Stubbs, you could put together a heck of a relay team.

Lance BerkmanRF Lance Berkman, Cardinals: Sure he's a first baseman playing in the outfield, but who cares because he's made up for his atrocious defense with an offensive rebirth. The Cardinals gambled on Berkman this offseason and have been rewarded to the tune of .287/.399/.598 with a league-leading 23 home runs and 62 RBIs. The division also has Jay Bruce, Corey Hart and Hunter Pence, so it has right fielders to spare (not to mention Jon Jay, who played right field while Berkman was playing first for Albert Pujols.)

Prince FielderDH Prince Fielder, Brewers: This is a bit of a cheat, since I initially picked Fielder at first base. The decision here was between Votto and Holliday, and in a toss-up, I went with the reigning MVP, although either has a good case. Votto's hitting .319/.434/.497 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, while Holliday is hitting .320/.417/.570 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI. Votto's seen fewer pitches to drive than he did a year ago, but is still producing. And once I was filling out the lineup card, I went with Votto at first base and Fielder as the DH.

Johnny CuetoSP Johnny Cueto, Reds: This division doesn't have a Cy Young candidate in the bunch, but does have several good young pitchers, including the 25-year-old Cueto, who started the season on the disabled list but is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 11 starts this season. The Cardinals' Jaime Garcia is 8-4 with a 3.23 ERA and one of the best young left-handers in the game and Chicago's Matt Garza has been a victim of pitching for the Cubs, going 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA and an xFIP of 2.86.

Sean MarshallRP Sean Marshall, Cubs: The Cubs' left-hander is 5-2 with a 2.40 ERA, striking out 43 in 41 1/3 innings, while walking just nine. His xFIP is 2.27 and he's induced ground balls on 60.4 percent of the balls put in play, a good characteristic for a middle reliever, who will often come into the game with runners on base. Apologies to the Reds' Bill Bray and the Cardinals' Jason Motte.

Joel HanrahanCL Joel Hanrahan, Pirates: Hanrahan leads the division in saves with 25 and hasn't blown a single save this season.  Of the eight runners he's inherited this year, none of scored. He has 33 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings and eight walks. He's allowed just six earned runs (good for a 1.37 ERA). The division has several good starters, including the Reds' Francisco Cordero (17 saves, 1.69 ERA), the Brewers' John Axford (23 saves, 2.90 ERA) and the Cardinals' Fernando Salas (15 saves, 2.41 ERA).

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Posted on: July 3, 2011 12:33 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Ramirez slams Rangers

Ramirez
By Evan Brunell


UpMatt Garza, Cubs -- Garza took a no-hitter into the sixth but settled for a one-run complete game, striking out seven White Sox in a 1-0 loss as he was outdueled by Phillip Humber and Matt Thornton's combined whitewashing. Despite losing, Garza easily had the best performance on the night. Maybe it's because it's too early to get the stink of Cubs defeat on him, but Garza's been a pretty bright spot this year.

Hanley Ramirez, Marlins -- Ramirez has been a new man lately, as he's racked up seven hits, six runs scored and eight RBI in his last four games. He had five of those RBI Saturday when he hit a grand slam in the first inning, then hammered a solo shot later in the game. Ramirez contributed a single to the 9-5 defeat of the Rangers. Ramirez is still batting .230, but that's not going to last and when Ramirez gets hot, he gets scorching hot.

Josh Hamilton, Rangers -- Hamilton tried to hang with Ramirez by hitting two of his own home runs, but only amassed three RBI total. He also had a three-hit night. The outfielder missed time earlier this season with injury, but has raked when in the lineup. He's off his 2010 pace that saw him earn the MVP, but that's also high standards to live up to.


Today, we're honoring the three notable players to leave one of Saturday's games with an injury...

DownFausto Carmona, Indians -- Carmona dropped a bunt single and then strained his right quad trying to make it to first base safely. Why we have to go through this charade with pitchers (never mind the AL part, pitchers, period), again, exactly? Carmona only got through two innings, so Frank Herrmann stepped up with three innings and the 'pen took turns holding things down. Middle reliever All-Star Vinnie Pestano walked away with the save. Carmona is expected to hit the 15-day DL.

Ryan Braun, Brewers -- Braun won't hit the DL, at least not yet, but he's out for Sunday after a strained left quad knocked him from the eventual 8-7 rally to defeat the Twins. Braun went 1 for 4 with a double and RBI before departing after an eight-inning ground out. “It’s pretty tight, pretty sore,” Braun told MLB.com. “I’m definitely not playing [Sunday]. We’ll probably see where it’s at in a couple of days.” But it all worked out: George Kottaras delivered the winning hit from Braun's spot in the ninth.

Jose Reyes, Mets -- As the Yankees once again reminded the Mets whose boss in town, the NL counterparts lost Jose Reyes after two innings with tightness in his left hamstring. Reyes will get a MRI and will almost certainly miss Sunday's game. "It's not too much pain. I feel it a little bit," Reyes told the Associated Press. "I didn't want to blow my hamstring again because I've been through a lot with that." Reyes reached on an infield single to second in his only at-bat.

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Posted on: June 11, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2011 7:03 pm
 

On Deck: Garza/Lee showdown, Pirates see Bay

OD

By Evan Brunell


LeeGarzaPITCHING SHOWDOWN:
One of the 4 p.m. games that we'll be chatting about pits two of the better pitchers going up against each other in Matt Garza and Cliff Lee. Both pitchers are less than impressive when you look at win-loss record (and hopefully the only ones that care about that mark at this point are fantasy baseball players with wins as a category) with Garza checking in at 2-5 for the bumbling Cubs while the Phillies are trying to hang onto first with a 5-5 mark from Cliff Lee. Garza's 4.07 ERA is a major disservice, as his 2.58 xFIP and 10.71 K/9 numbers indicate. Garza is pitching better than he ever has in Tampa, but you wouldn't know it from ERA. Lee, meanwhile, has a similar disparity between ERA and xFIP with a 3.62 ERA and 2.51 xFIP. This is actually a marquee pitching matchup -- you just wouldn't know it on first blush. Cubs at Phillies, 4:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

RedsGiantsSCUFFLING LEADERS:
The Reds are in danger of slipping to .500 if they lose on Saturday to the Giants and are already five games behind the Cardinals  and now have the Brewers making noise, too. The Reds are too good to let this recent funk last, but the Giants have their own problems. Still in first place up by two games, San Francisco has a lousy offense that has been compounded by injury troubles. The club appears to be on the verge of signing Bill Hall to step in at second base after Freddy Sanchez went down, but he probably won't be on deck for Saturday when Mike Leake, seeking his sixth victory, goes up against Tim Lincecum, also chasing his sixth victory. The similarities end there, as Lincecum is a two-time Cy Young Award winner with a 2.85 ERA while Leake has a 4.63 ERA and was demoted to the minors earlier this season. Reds at Giants, 4:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

BayCHASE FOR .500: A team going after a .500 record isn't really of interest to the regular fan, sure, but .500 would be a moral victory for the clubs of the Pirates (who haven't reached that mark in 18 years) and Mets (what isn't wrong with the team?). Pittsburgh is just two away from the mark while New York's win will put them at .500 for the first time since May 20. R.A. Dickey, the erstwhile knuckleballer, will toe the mound for New York  while Pittsburgh counters with James McDonald. If the Pirates want to turn their fortunes around, they might want to muster more than singles, as there have been zero extra-base hits by the team in the last two games. Saturday is also a milestone in Pittsburgh of some sort, as the team will finally play against Jason Bay (pictured) at PNC Park for the first time since the slugger was traded to Boston midway through 2008. Mets at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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Posted on: June 1, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Garza looking to return next week

By Matt Snyder

Cubs starting pitcher Matt Garza has been on the disabled list since May 18 (retroactively, at least), so he is eligible to come off and face the rival Cardinals this weekend. It's just that he's not ready to do so. Tuesday night, ESPN Chicago reported Garza will not be removed from the disabled list until next week. Wednesday, Cubs.com reported Garza is "penciled in" to start sometime next week against the Reds. The Cubs travel to Cincy for a three-game series June 6-8.

Coincidentally, Great American Ball Park is the last place Garza pitched. He went six innings, allowing five hits and three unearned runs, striking out three while walking four. On the season, Garza is 2-4 with a 3.72 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 55 2/3 innings. His 11 strikeouts per nine innings is the best in the majors. Of the Cubs' starting rotation heading into the season, only Carlos Zambrano and Ryan Dempster have avoided the DL.

The good news is Garza does seem to be progressing well. He threw a 30-pitch side session Wednesday afternoon with no setbacks after a pain-free session Monday and said "everything felt great."

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Category: MLB
Posted on: May 22, 2011 10:25 am
 

On Deck: Primetime placeholders



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Tim WakefieldJames RussellNOT AS PLANNED
-- This isn't quite as either team planned it, but James Russell and Tim Wakefield will start the finale of the Cubs-Red Sox series at Fenway Park. The left-handed Russell is filling in for Matt Garza, who was scratched with tightness in his right elbow, while Wakefield has joined the team's rotation with John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka on the DL. The knuckleballer did not pitch the last time these two met at Fenway Park in the 1918 Series, but he did anxiously await the scores via telegram. Wakefield's made two starts so far this season, going 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in a total of 10 innings. Russell is 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA in four starts and 14 1/3 innings pitched. This is probably not the matchup TV execs thought they'd see when they made it the national game for Sunday night -- or maybe they were just counting on the rapture. Cubs at Red Sox, 8:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

PUTRID AT PETCO -- The Padres were shut out for the ninth time this season on Saturday and sixth time at home. They are now 8-17 at Petco Park in 2011. San Diego has managed just one run, eight hits and 22 strikeouts in the first two games against the Mariners and today have to face Felix Hernandez. The Mariners, however, are just continuing their trend of stifling offenses, as they've allowed two or fewer runs in each of their last two games. The Padres have scored just four runs while today's starter, Clayton Richard, has been on the mound at Petco -- not surprisingly, the Richard is 0-3 in five home starts this season. Mariners at Padres, 4:05 p.m. ET (Watch live)

Adam DunnSLUMPING -- Many -- myself included -- believed if you put Adam Dunn in U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox may have to increase their budget for baseballs. Instead, the $56-million designated hitter is struggling mightily in his new home. While wearing the pinstripes at the Cell, Dunn is hitting .102/.206/.220 in 17 home games and has launched just two homers at home. He has yet to get a hit off of a left-handed pitcher -- in any stadium -- this season. Good news for Dunn today, though, he faces a familiar face from the National League, Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda. Dunn is hitting .429/.636/1.143 with a homer in 11 plate appearances against Kuroda. Dodgers at White Sox, 2:10 p.m. ET (Watch live)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com