The hero of the day. Cubs 3 A's 1.

The hero of the day. Cubs 3 A's 1.

The first play of the game last night between the Cubs and the A's featured 290 lb. Bartolo Colon huffing it from the pitcher's mound to first base to cover the throw. And if you were an A's fan, that's about as entertaining as it got. Matt Garza basically head locked and noogied the A's all night while saying "Why you hitting yourself?".The Cubs pushed across enough runs make Garza's effort stand. An Alfonso Soriano single scored a hustling Starlin Castro to give the Cubs an early lead. The Cubs would get all the scoring they would need when Luis Valbuena's 357 foot blast caromed off of Josh Reddick's glove and over the right field fence. A Brandon Moss home run was all the A's got for supper and the Cubs would get an insurance run in the 8th on back to back doubles by Dioner Navarro and Brian Bogusevic. Bogusevic's double was one of three balls that went to the left field wall because outfielder Yoenis Cespedis decided to chase his tail before fielding the ball. Let's order sushi and not pay...


Well if that is Garza's last start as a Chicago Cub, he certainly closed the show with his best. 1 run on 4 hits was all Garza gave up to the first place A's. He did walk 3 while striking out 5. Perhaps signing Garza to an 8 year extension and spreading trade rumors before each and every start during that time is the way to go because the 25-cent psychologist saw a man who blocked everything out and was more focused than he's ever been. No histrionics, no flakiness, no screaming into the glove. Just well placed fast balls and a biting curve. While I doubt Garza's value went up, one start is simply one start, Theo & Co. have every right to ask for what THEY want and make the other team concede. Kevin Gregg also did himself well shutting down the A's for the save.


I know the Cubs won, and I should just shut up. And 9 hits off a pitcher who was on an 8-0 run is an antihistamine performance. But 9 men LOB is still 9 LOB. And the game could have been easier.


Could we finally be seeing the start of the Cubbie way and the "new hitting philosophy" at work. The top 3 batters in the lineup saw over 20 pitches each. (Led by Starlin Castro and his 25. Something that has steadily gone up all year. Very good sign.) and here's the kicker: Not a single strikeout. Granted, Bartolo Colon makes climbing the pitcher's mound look like hard work. But the truth was that was not an easy night for #40. He really had to battle Cub hitters. Very encouraging.

So once again, the Cubs manage to shake off a gut punch win with a solid outing of their own. And, as usual, good starting pitching was the key. 8 years ago, when Carlos Zambrano would have a performance like this, the cries were "Sign him! Sign him." Now the screams are "Trade him!. Trade him." Different times, different teams to say the least, but to me, the message is simple....stop screaming. When you do well, good things usually follow. Travis Wood takes the bump to go for the series win against Dan Straily. Three road series wins on a west coast trip? Yes please.  Happy 4th everybody!






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    Felzz where I agree the 9 hits with only 3 runs is par for the course this case is we ran into a pitcher that has been doing this to everyone. Colon has given up 9.9 baserunners per 9 innings and only has a 2.78 ERA. So this one time I will side on the fact of a good pitcher keeping runners from scoring like he has all year.

  • Yeah, it wasn't an overly huge complaint. It's not like I can run off a number of opportunities where the Cubs failed to execute. There was a Valbuena at-bat. I guess I was just shocked when I looked up and saw 12 hits. More of a question I guess than a complaint.

    I guess I just needed a third bullet. Not that big a deal. Still very happy about the win.

  • Thanks for the recap, Felzz.

    Clearly, Matt Garza is a TOR guy and should only be traded if we get far greater potential value back. But, I'm still in the camp of signing him to an extension and letting him be OUR TOR starter. Why?

    1) The odds of getting back greater value are astronomically small. (Reread John's 2/2012 article ). And look at the prospects obtained in previous TOR trades for Halladay, Peavy, CC Sabathia, and Garza himself. Only Brantley (part of the CCS deal) is even in the MLB. ALL of the others are either out of baseball, on the DL, or buried in the minors. Chris Archer (the showpiece of the Garza trade) has started all of 10 MLB games and has won all of 3.

    2) "Matt Garza might get injured if we don't trade him". Well, the prospects may get injured also. In the above trades, Drabek, d'Arnand, Richard, and Lee are currently all on long term DL. And if you re-read John's analyses of who we might get for Garza, you'll notice he wore out the "TJS" keys.

    3) At the beginning of next season, Matt Garza will ONLY be 30 and POTENTIALLY has many productive seasons ahead of him. Here are the win totals of some other TOR pitchers after they reached aged 30 : Maddox : 217 wins. Jenkins: 149 wins. Seaver : 204 wins. Ryan : 202 wins. Carlton : 216 wins.

    4) It will take a LONG time for a prospect to replace Matt Garza as a TOR starter. How long does it take for that to happen? Here are some examples for how long it takes to reach TOR status from signing and from MLB debut:
    - Matt Cain (7 years from signing, 4 years from MLB debut)
    - Johnny Cueto (6 "...", 2 "...")
    - Adam Wainwright (7 "...", 2 "..")
    Of course, Verlander is the exception (He signed in 2004 and was already TOR 2 years later)

    In summary, I keep Matt Garza because 1) The prospects we get back PROBABLY will not pan out to be MLB stars. 2) Matt Garza's injury probability does not exceed that of the returnees. 3) Life doesn't end at age 30 for a TOR. 4) It will take a LONG time to develop the next TOR starter.

    Sorry for the long post.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I agree, and am not sure why so many are ready to eagerly boot Garza out the door. Of course, I don't know what's gone on in the FO and maybe the Cubs are pretty certain they won't be able to sign Matt to a reasonable extension. If that is the case, and they can get a solid haul in return, they okay. Otherwise, there are worse things than Shark and Garza at the top of the rotation next year.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    DTP, you've argued what's been my position for quite some time more eloquently then I ever have. Nice post.

    There was a post by Bowden on ESPN the other day outlining 5 packages that the Cubs might get back and each one of them was a poo-poo platter of mediocrity and meh (bullpen arms, #5 rotation starters--if they panned out, backup infielders. It was truly a nauseating read). Of course, it's Bowden and I'd imagine he's not a GM for the very reason of the terrible packages he put together in his article, BUT it illustrates how hard it is to get value in return. The additional points you made about when the pitcher MIGHT be ready is also a good illustration of how the notion of "value" also includes (or should include) a timeline of when that player is likely to be ready that is workable for the Cubs FO, the ownership (I doubt they want to keep tanking and seeing empty seats for long), and how they fit with the players they have on hand.

    One final point... I know that the Cubs might not contend for another 2 or 3 years, but I don't think it's a bad thing at all to have a veteran like Garza around to tutor younger pitchers and part of a playoff rotation. Even if his stuff isn't TOR in 3 years, he'll likely be good enough for #4 or #5 on a very good staff. Maybe you trade Baez or Bryant in a year or two in a package for that #1 we will likely need or maybe it's developed in our own system (Johnson, etc.).

    I won't be totally heartbroken if Garza is traded and if he is, I'll be here reading all about the new guys and daydreaming on them like everyone else, but I still don't think you have to do it. I wouldn't mind extending him at all.

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    I wouldn't be opposed to him coming back to the Cubs, but if we are going to bring him back then it's likely going to cost an arm and a leg the way he's been pitching lately, and they could also put that $ they'd use for him and put it towards other holes. Instead, the FO could trade him, and bring back some highly touted prospects. And to your first point, that's the risk you always run by trading a known commodity for unknown prospects... That's the thing about prospects, most of them never work out. But that's also why this FO is turning short term assets into long term assets. The more high ceiling prospects you get the more likely you are to hit on several of them.

    To your third point, of course life isn't over at the age of 30 for pitchers, and yes many of them succeed greatly years after their prime. However, you just ripped off like 5 HOF pitchers' names who succeeded after the age of 30. Those guys are pretty much the exception, not the rule. Garza is a great pitcher no doubt, but he hasn't put up HOF #s.

    And to your fourth point, yes, there are a lot of TOR guys that take several years to develop like those guys, but there are TOR starters out there that haven't taken long at all to start showing their stuff. You mentioned Verlander, but think about Kershaw, Miller, etc.

    I'm not trying to bring any of what you're saying down at all bc all of your points are valid. All I'm doing is playing devil's advocate. I also happen to be in the camp where I'd like to see Garza get moved for 2-3 top prospects for him. His value on the trade market can't get any higher right now!

  • I'm itching for more Trade Rumors...

    do you guys think this will be Matt Garza's last start?

    any rumors floating around?

    I didn't catch the game, but it sounded like Garza was a workhorse

  • No worries sir. I agree with you. I'd make him a qualifying offer to scare other teams off and then try and sign him. But if Garza's camp has been hesitant about an extension then it might be out of their hands.

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    Matt is looking for a deal with no trade provisions, and these days the Cubs don't do those. So he'll be traded.

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