Giving a dead bird to a blind kid. Cubs 6 Cardinals 4.

The Cubs tried to rebound from a tough loss yesterday in a rare Saturday night game against the the Cardinals. The Cubs brought their hitting gloves and Matt Garza, POSSIBLY PITCHING HIS LAST GAME AS A CUB, kept the Nl’s leading offense at bay as the Cubs took their second game of the series. Lance Lynn might have been better off pitching underhand this night as he was hit early and often. Given a 1-0 lead thanks to a Tony Cruz single, Lance Lynn gave it right back. A Dioneer Navarro single drove Alfonso Soriano, who had earlier doubled, to third, but when Carlos Beltran started playing with his food in right field, Soriano hustled home.  Navarro would score on a Dave Sappelt single, and Sappelt would score when Starlin Castro laced one all of 20 feet down the third base line for an infield single. Lynn got so mad at giving up a run on a 2 foot hit that he decided to give up runs on 420 foot hits. Alfonso Soriano was more than happy to oblige. Soriano crushed a Lynn meatball off the batters eye lounge in center. In the next inning, Luis Valbuena, HITTING IN WHAT MIGHT BE MATT GARZA’S FINAL GAME AS A CUB!!!!!!, crushed a 2-run homer to right. 6-1 Cubs. The Cardinals knowing that if the Cubs scored any more runs they’d have trouble coming back and knowing that their fans would have a hard time counting that high, staged a late inning comeback. In the seventh, they got a run when Allen Craig hit one off of Matt Garza, IN WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN HIS FINAL DEFENSIVE PLAY AS A CUB!!!!!, and under Barney’s glove. But Matt Gurrier bailed them out. In the 8th, they scored another one whenMatt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly. And they even scored one off the Save-Bot 6300. But that was all they got as the Cardinal fans cried in their PBR. No 2 for 1 specials at the Stuckeys are gonna cheer those fellas up tonight. Let’s Rock and roll all night and party every day….

THE GARZA STRIP

Wasn’t Matt Garza’s best outing. But might have been one of his toughest. Two earned runs in 6.2 innings against the league’s best offense is none too shabby. 10 hits in 6.2 innings has some shabbiness to it however. But pitching in jams is when GDuecesWild buckled down and threw his best. What worked for Garza was the number of first pitch strikes, mostly from his fastball. 21 of the 31 batters Garza faced was down 0-1. For the love of god, please trade him over the All-star break. The “discussion of trade rumors” are giving me a migraine. I can only imagine what it’s doing to him and the team. Gurrier did a good job getting fat Matt Adams t fly out. Parker looked “meh” but Russell looked great bailing him out. And then the Save-Bot……..eventually got it done.

SOME LIKE IT HOT AND SOME SWEAT WHEN THE HEAT IS ON

Alfonso Soriano continues to rake. And some continue to believe that this will cause his value to rise, even though he was hot last year and nobody bit. ( Not even San Francisco despite everyone wanting to believe he nixed a trade there. San Francisco GM admitted he never picked up the phone…) But Sori’s double to open the scoring and his home run catalyzed the Cubs offense. And everyone on the team loves him. Personally, I hope he gets as many hits as possible and worms his way into Hall-of-fame consideration. He might have the numbers to do it.

BLEEDING THROUGH DEAF EARS

Did I mention that this MIGHT HAVE BEEN MATT GARZA’S LAST GAME AS A CUB????!??!?!?!!? I only bring it up because Thom Brenneman and Tim McCarver mentioned in 7,356 times during the broadcast. When it was relevant, when it wasn’t relevant. They mentioned it during commercial breaks. And when they weren’t mentioning it they were totally misrepresenting other facts about the Cubs. Did you know that the Cubs were probably going to move Starlin Castro to the outfield to make room for the “slick fielding” Javier Baez? I didn’t either. I would thin that as the nation’s leading analyst I would have FanGraphs and Baseball prospectus’ newsletter as daily reading. I would be heinously wrong. McCarver has gotten by so much on his reputation and simpleton schtick that actual preparation has gone out the window a long long time ago. Breneman has his issues to. But it’s one thing to give an opinion I disagree with. It’s quite another to give an opinion that illustrates how out of touch and out of time you are with the way baseball is viewed, critiqued, and talked about. Hopefully that’s the last Cub game he does.

Alright….. Cubs try and end the “first half” ( the first half was over a couple of weeks ago…) on a winning note when they send All-Star Travis Wood out against All-Star Adam Wainwright. The Cardinal fans will have spent a fourth day in the sun and should have all the pleasantness of a tire fire tomorrow night, so for the love of everything, bring some OFF. I understand the need to get happy and interested in the trade season, because hopefully they’ll be the Cubs we talk about for the next decade. But the Cubs are playing their best ball of the season, and I’d hate to see you miss it waiting for the next Ken Rosenthal or Buster Olney tweet. Anyway, Onwards.

 

Boxscore.

 

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  • Rodgers wrote an article today statung that he expected Baez to be up next year and that Castro would be traded by then.

    Me thinks the Fox crew read that article and assumed the Cubs beat writer had a clue. Whoopsie.

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    In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    He's at it again.

  • In reply to Cubswin4harry:

    Oh, Phil. He's been saying that for years now. Castro will probably get traded when he's in his 30s and Rogers can then say he was finally right.

  • That makes sense. Phil meets McCarver in the hallway, Rodgers explains his crackpot theory, McCarver runs with it.... So outdated.

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    The first 6+ innings were a blast.

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    I just hope whatever trades they make this month that they get starting pitching prospects back. We're so loaded in hitting prospects right now, even if 2/3rds of them flame out, we're still in good shape. But we need SP prospects bad.

  • Kyle Hendricks was removed today after just 50 pitches, anyone has any updates on that?

  • In reply to Caps:

    I'm writing the recap. I suspect it's because he's going to start the all-star game on 3 days rest.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Forgot about that, thanks!

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I have Matt Loosen at 34IP in his last 5 starts and only 1 ER (1R total actually)...is that right???? holy crap.

  • In reply to Zakh:

    It is right. Was actually writing about him as I'm writing this.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Nice. I know you are the expert and have written about him and Hendricks in the past (as well as the pitching coordinator)...but i would love to see a story on some of our top piching prospecta. I think we all know about the studs we have on the field but the pitching is really impressing me as of late. Seems we are really seeing the waves. Are they just old for their levels or did they take a step forward?

  • In reply to Zakh:

    Thanks. I think I can do that. Been kind of toying with that idea and a couple have suggested, so I'll put it on the list. As far as today's big outings, Loosen and Rhee are too old for their level. Hendricks is borderline. I think some pitchers have taken a big step forward and Hendricks is one of them. Cabrera might be another. Blackburn.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    awesome. Thanks. I didn't even look at Loosen's age. I guess 24 is def to old for High A. Hopefully he gets to AA pretty soon to see if he can keep it up. Maybe when Hendricks gets bumped up (Garza trade? Although i would think they would be bringing in at least one-two AA/AAA pitchers in that deal).

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    btw, do I need to hit a certain number of comments before my posts don't need approval? no worries, just wondering.

  • In reply to Zakh:

    No, it's a glitch in the system. Even when I comment it says it needs approval from the moderator. Hopefully we'll get that fixed soon. No comments are being monitored beforehand.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Also btw Hendricks was dominate again. What does the guy have to do to get promoted?

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    I have to think he's pretty close. The Cubs may have to shuffle to make some room, but he's proven he can handle AA.

  • Levine reporting that TEX & TOR he heaviest in on Garza. I find it extremely difficult to believe that TOR can be serious suitors; they're in friggin last place & behind several teams for WC slots.

  • In reply to Carl9730:

    Going to write on Garza tomorrow. Toronto seems unlikely at this point, I agree -- though I suppose they've always been one of the teams that always liked Garza.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It wouldn't shock me if LAD made a serious run. With regard to BOS, Lester looked reasonably good tonite, which has me questioning their level of interest.

  • Almost looks like the boys have caught lightning in a bottle.

    What a stud Garza is. Man has guts.

    I can't believe FO doesn't want him around for for next 3 or 4 years as a core player, prospects be damned! Show him the money!

    And let's be satisfied whatever we can get for Gregg and DDJ ad other short term non-core assets.

    BTW, wasnt that Joe Buck, rather than Brenneman?

    One thing I thought they did get right is noting Svuem has brought some grit to the team. He kinds reminds me of Q.

    Finally, doesn't always feel good beating the fuckin Cardinals?

  • In reply to Nondorf:

    Was it Buck? I thought it was Thom too. They sound alike too me.

  • It's a bit tough for me here in Cardinal country because I hate to see grown men crying.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Haha! Somehow I think you'll get through it just fine.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yep- if we win tomorrow that oldie but goodie chant of "1908" will be resonating among Card nation. Never fails...

  • Someone needs to inform the fools Brenneman and McCarver(well, he IS a former Cardinal) that Baez is far more likely to chande positions before Castro. Dolts.

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    ”I don’t really like not finishing through the seventh. Against a team like these guys, you keep pounding away. These guys are gritty and just keep grinding …. [The standing ovation was] awesome, but 6 2/3 [innings] doesn’t deserve that. Seven, eight, nine [innings] does. I appreciate it, but I hope this isn’t my last one.” ~ Matt Garza per Cubs.com

    It's quotes like this that make me say, "Do we really have to trade him?" The odds seem long that we're actually going to get back anything as good as he already is when completely healthy, and with the Wrigley Renovation deal seemingly going to happen, why not extend him, unless someone just makes an offer to good to refuse. If the rumors about Garza wanting something along the lines of what Sanchez got are true, he's probably worth it.

    Keeping him may actually speed the rebuild up, which is said to be going into a different phase this winter anyways. I mean we're talking about the possibility of going into 2014 with a rotation of Garza, Shark, Jackson, Wood and Baker.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    "and with the Wrigley Renovation deal seemingly going to happen, why not extend him, unless someone just makes an offer to good to refuse."

    And that's exactly what Jed/Theo are thinking, IMO. They won't get sold short on a deal for Garza. It's either improve the organizaton or bust, and they sit in the driver's seat.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I've often thought that Garza's situation is more the new FO considering moving on from the Hendry era. It won't be a surprise if he's traded. Soriano, either, and if Castro's name comes up in more rumors that wouldn't surprise me either.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I've always been on the bus that says resign him. The injuries he has had have not been serious (at least requiring surgery), and have not affected his stuff at all. He is basically the same age as Jackson, so I don't see why one would be able to help when we contend and not the other. He seems like a good teammate. I could understand dealing him last year, since we could have gotten a significant return back given that he had a year and a half of team control remaining. But given that he is a now a rental, he won't return a huge bounty of prospects unless a GM gets desperate. If Garza is willing to sign for 5 years, I'm all for it, even if it is at close to 20M per. If he tells them he wants to test the market or wants longer than 5 years, then I can see trading him.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    I've tended to lean towards resigning him, but I've really been on the fence, and to be honest, I don't think anyone outside the front office really knows what is going to happen. Rumor has had it that he and his agent want something along the lines of what Sanchez got from the Tigers. I think he is better than Sanchez. So if it's close to that, or even a little more, I'd be okay with it.

    I will tell you this. There isn't a soul of importance in the front office that hasn't read Sun Tzu. These guys aren't playing a Chess strategy. They're playing a Go strategy. They understand that, ultimately, information is their biggest asset. Their thinking is also very objectivist in nature. They put emotion aside, and they act on logic and reason. Those two thing allow them to use a minimal amount of assets to control a wide portion of the board.

  • I have never been impressed with McCarver. He seems to state the obvious(he gets lots of strikeouts because he throws strikes). Been great watching this team string some wins together hopefully they can do it today and knock the dead birds out of 1st.

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    In reply to kansascub:

    Thanks Kansas, I just at my breakfast. I can't think of McCarver without thinking of Buck. Well, those pancakes and bacon were good going down.

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    It was joe buck. Not to say that brenneman doesn't have issues.

  • Garza looked good,.... and demonstrated that he knows how to win a game even when his best stuff is not available. I can't see him around too long after the All-Star break,.... but he's fun to watch now.

    And Soriano is just being Soriano,.... he has always been boom or bust,.... and always seems to get it going when it gets warmer. Just ride him & hope he doesn't cool off with a few days off for the All-Star break.

    Let's go into the break on an upswing,.... and take 3/4 from the Cards.

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    sorry the guy above stole my thunder don't pick on people (although i know where you r coming from.brutal broadcast,no fox box to show wally bell"s ridiculous strike zone.joe buck and mc carver kisiing the cardinals butt the whole game.

  • A couple of guys on the Score have said that the FO does 't care for Garza at all and are desperate to get rid of him.

    I haven't heard that anywhere else.

    I know he is quirky and can be goofy, but it always has appeared that he is a good teammate and someone who cares deeply about his performance and the team's success.

    Anyone else hear about the FO not caring for Garza?

  • I can see it now: Some distant day when the Cubs have all their prospects on the field and Garza pitches a no-hitter against them.

  • Not a fan of McCarver or Buck; but will give them props for chatting up Alfonso for a couple innings. Pretty cool that they showed his '91 WS homer off of Schilling. That swing has taken him a LONNNNNG way!

  • I hope he gets as many hits as possible and worms his way into Hall-of-fame consideration. He might have the numbers to do it.
    can u say irony!

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