Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 03/29/11

Spring Training Game Thirty-Three: Cubs (14-18) vs. Diamondbacks (11-25)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Matt Garza (1-3, 8.68/1.93) vs. Joe Saunders (0-3, 12.51/2.20)

The last Cactus League hurrah at HoHoKam Park …

The Cubs 34-game Cactus League schedule comes to an end this afternoon. The spring has been anything but boring for Mike Quade and his crew has shown signs of playing good ball. But the Cubs have been consistently inconsistent throughout the spring.

After today’s practice game against the D’Backs, the Cubs play an Intrasquad game at HoHoKam Park Wednesday that begins at 1:00pm CDT. The Cubs depart for Chicago soon after to prepare for practice Thursday at Wrigley … and Opening Day Friday against the Pirates, weather permitting.

Matt Garza will make his final start of the spring. Unlike Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano, the Cubs are looking for Matt Garza to get a full days work in and pitch as deep into the game as he can. Garza has been inconsistent this spring and needs to increase his pitch count.

The Cubs are hoping Jeff Baker can suit up and play this afternoon. Baker has been out since last week with a sore left hamstring and is expected to hit at the top of Q’s lineup with the lefty on the mound for Arizona. Blake DeWitt is expected to get the start at third base this afternoon.

Len Kasper will join Keith Moreland to call the Cubs final Cactus League game on 720 WGN …

Matt Garza is coming off his first and only win of the spring. Garza has struggled with his command all spring and has walked 12 batters in 18 2/3 innings. Garza has struck out only 13 batters and given up 18 runs, all earned, on 24 hits in six games, five starts.

Garza has shown signs of the pitcher he became in Tampa but has yet to have a solid Spring Training outing. The Cubs are looking for Garza to finish strong this afternoon.

Joe Saunders is fighting for a spot in Kirk Gibson’s rotation. To say Saunders’ spring has been horrible would be an understatement. Saunders was a given to make the D-Backs rotation before the exhibition season began.

Saunders has allowed 19 runs, all earned, on 25 hits with five walks and eight strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.

It will be interesting to see how much either team shows this afternoon. The Cubs and Diamondbacks face each other seven times in the first month of the season (April 4 – April 6 in Chicago and April 28 – May 1 in Arizona) … and after May 1, the only time the Cubs will see Arizona again in 2011 is for the All-Star game (July 12).

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Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." - Arthur Ashe
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Johnson – CF
    Castro – SS
    Baker – 2B
    Ramirez – 3B
    Soto – C
    Pena – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Colvin – RF
    Garza – P

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Marlon Byrd was in the original lineup, hitting third. Byrd has a stiff back but is expected to be okay by Opening Day.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    According to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal, Carlos Silva cleared waivers today.

  • GaryLeeT

    I see the Brewers got Nyger Morgan from the Nats, and it only took a mid level prospect to get him. Glad Hendry passed on that one. The Cubs sure don’t need a guy who can come off the bench and steal a base, or provide them with solid late inning defense in the outfield. Do the Cubs have anybody that can steal 20? Or even 10?

    • LD2011

      Nyger Morgan has been nothing but trouble wherever he has played. We do not need another problem in the clubhouse. We just got rid of one in Silva.

    • John_CC

      No, they don’t, GaryLee, and I’m glad that Morgan is not the guy, too. He is a nut job and by all accounts a piece of work, to put it kindly.

      • GaryLeeT

        And what, disrupt team chemistry? I am glad Silva is gone because he was a horrible pitcher, not for his disruptive behavior. Besides, who cares if Morgan is a nut job? There is still plenty of space in the rubber room, even with Zambrano in it.

        • John_CC

          I’ll pass. It’s one thing to be a disgruntled Cub fan because the team sucks, it’s another thing to hate them because the in-fighting turns into a summer long soap opera. Yeah, Silva is gone and he wasn’t half as bad as the guy he replaced. Remember Milton and what a fun summer that was?

          • GaryLeeT

            I get what you are saying, but when Bradley arrived in 09 there were high expectations for a team that was building on their success of 08. I think this year we will be begging for distractions.

  • cc002600

    I think the fact that the Brewers traded for a cancer like Morgan and a stiff like Mitre speaks to their desperation. Their up the middle defense is BRUTAL. They say Betancourt at SS is horrendous. With all the injuries they have sustained they are VERY overrated. You cannot have bad defense up the middle. And oh, the Cardinal defense will be really bad too. They have slowest OF in baseball and they have The Riot and Shumaker at middle IF. Need I say more ?

    This division is wide open. Yes, the cubs have issues but look at everyone else and tell me who really scares you ? 86 wins could win this thing.

    • Bryan

      Even if your projection is true (which I would highly question), there is a team based in Cincy that will well exceed 86 wins this season. With a $130m payroll our leadership team is likely aspiring for a .500 record, at best.

    • GaryLeeT

      But even if they win the weak Central, then what? Get pounded by the Braves or Phills? When a team has not even been to a World Series in 65 years, nice seasons do not matter. That’s left for the Pirates and Royals to wish for. Only winning it all does, and anything less, is just another brick in the wall of shame.

    • Jon

      Dont forget the always reliable, speedy Lance Berkman manning the OF in STL… That should definitely help the D

  • cc002600

    Bryan,
    That team in Cincy….have you seen their injury list ??
    Let’s see – Cueto, Bailey, Arroyo to start. How’s that rotation looking after that ?
    They probably have best lineup in the divsion, but their pitching is suspect.

    So I ask you again, who really scares you ? Reds ? Really ? come on. They are a nice team, but they are no jaugernaut.

    • Bryan

      I’m just trying to be realistic. The Cubs roster is essentially pathetic on the offensive side. I’d be amazed if they pull off a .500 season.

    • John_CC

      Put the Kool Aid down, bro, you’re Drunk!

      86 Wins?

      And yes, the Red are a far better team than the Cubs. Far better. Who cares about Homer Bailey? Arroyo is fine and how about Chapman, Volquez, Beachey, Wood and Leake. They have talented young pitchers.

      Stubbs, Phillips, Votto, Rolen, Bruce…their lineup is superior to the Cubs, both offensively and defensively.

      And like GaryLeeT said above: so what if they win the crappiest division in baseball? This team does not stand a chance.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Hey, Homer Bailey can HIT the ball better than almost anyone on our roster, except Castro and Aram.

    • Tony_Hall

      Their pitching is suspect?…they have lots of nice young arms. They look pretty good. Now with Dusty at the helm, I will always think he can mess it up, but they have the talent to win 90+.

      • cc002600

        I don’t disagree. But if their picthing is suspect, you really expect them to win 90+ ?? How many times does that happen?

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t think that their pitching is suspect, you do. I like their pitching options.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            So do I Tony but they are long in the tooth in certain positions (3rd base, SS) and are one injury away from being suspect offensively. You add that in with Dusty’s love of destroying young arms by over use. You have the recipe for some serious fall back. I got them at 85 to 88 wins.

  • cc002600

    Gary, I’m not saying the cubs are going to the WS. But to sit here in March and totally rule them out is silly.

    Baseball is the most unpredictable in the game in the world. I don’t have to cite all the examples. And as we have seen a million times, when you get into playoffs its a TOTAL crapshoot. Look no further than the 2006 Cardinals who won a grandtotal of 83 games but suddenly got hot for about 2 weeks in Oct and won it all.

    • GaryLeeT

      It’s more silly to rule them in than out. That doesn’t mean I won’t root for them, it just means I have realistic expectations. They did not improve the team in any meaningful way, and are now a year older than last year’s 75 win team.

    • John_CC

      The most unpredictable game in the world.

      Really?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Weird first inning for Garza. Gave up four singles and a run, nothing hit hard. All three outs were via strikeouts.

  • GaryLeeT

    OK. Now let’s see the Cubs fine tune that offense on an 0-3 pitcher with an ERA over 12.

  • cc002600

    Gary,
    You mean every guy on the team will have EXACTLY the same year he had last year ?

    Why do people always extrapolate last year’s stats and think they will do exactly the same the following year ? I don’t get it.

    Are you saying ARAM will hit .178 in the 1st half this year again ?
    Are you saying Zambrano will be completely worthless again in the first half ?
    Do you really think Pena will hit .196 again and produce less than DP lee did last year ?

    I don’t know….the answer could be yes, but to sit here and say they have zero chance in March is ridiculous….there are a million variables out there that will affect their end results…..no one can predict what will happen

    NEWSFLASH: guys have bad years and guys have good years…..very rarely are 2 years exactly the same…..things change from year to year….not too mention injuries play a huge part, which NOBODY can predict.

    Were you around in 1984 ? or 2003 ? or 1989 ?? How did those teams look coming out of Arizona ???? If you say you were confident at that time they would win divsion, you are a liar.

    • paulcatanese

      Why would you call somone a liar? especially on this site, very poor taste. Besides there were plenty of Cub fans for the last 103 years who at the beginning of the year predicted they would not win a World Series and guess what,they were right. Hope and reality are two different things.I cannot imagine all of those folks liars.

      • cc002600

        Lighten up, Francis. Look at the context in which I wrote it. I’m not calling anyone a liar. I was making the point that no one thought the cubs would win their divsions in those years coming out of ST, but they did. in baseball, anything can happen.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza gave up 8 soft hit or bloop singles, then a three-run shot over the left field wall. Six of first eight outs Garza has recorded has been via a strikeout.

  • Aaron

    this is a tremendous barometer for what’s in store for the Cubs offense this year…Garza and Saunders have both been horrendous this spring. So far, the D’Backs supposedly anemic offense has absolutely crushed Garza. He’s not fooling anybody, and continues to prove me right that the Cubs trade was lopsided in favor of the Rays.

    Garza has now given up 34 hits, 22 runs (all earned), 3 hr, and 12 walks vs 20 K’s in 21 2/3 IP.

    He’s given up 10 hits today alone!!!!!! In just 3 IP…

    Meanwhile, the Cubs offense has mustered just 2 walks against a pitcher that came into the game with even worse stats than Garza.

    But, hey….the kool-aid drinkers say the Cubs are fine, and that having yet another anemic bat on the team like Hill isn’t really a big deal. I got news for you….the Cubs need ALL the offense they can get. Whether it’s starters or bench players…hell, even the pitchers themselves…..they need ALL they can get.

    Johnson, DeWitt, Baker, Hill, and Fukudome likely wouldn’t even be able to latch on with another team at least at the MLB level. Just watch after this season….It’s highly likely that those 4 guys would only garner a minor league contract and NRI next season from any other team (if that)….but all of this is provided the Cubs don’t offer them a contract first…LOL

    • Aaron

      …..and right after I post this, the Cubs load the bases and have 2 runs….I should bitch more often

      • Aaron

        ….but Garza still sucks

        • cubtex

          Aaron…Give it a rest!!! He does not suck as you say! He is a quality starter who is having a bad spring training. Woooooooo!

          Let’s see what happens when it REALLY counts!

          • Ripsnorter1

            7-15 or 8-14?

          • cubtex

            I’ll take some of that action Rip! I’ll take over 8 wins for Garza.

          • Gary J

            I’m in on that too – double digits

          • Ripsnorter1

            Your on. 10 or more wins, and you win. 9 or less, and I win.

          • Aaron

            Here’s my prediction:

            Dempster=16 wins
            Zambrano=14 wins
            Garza=8 wins
            Wells=10 wins
            Cashner=8 wins

            The problem, however, with any of these predictions, is that the Cubs offense is so wildly inconsistent, and was particularly dreadful in quality starts amongst Cubs pitchers like Lilly and Wells especially last year, that their records didn’t reflect how well they pitched at times.

            Dempster and Zambrano both got 4.8 in run support per game started last year. Wells had a pathetic 3.4 run support. (8-14, 4.26 ERA). But get this…..while with the Cubs last year, Lilly had just 2.7 in run support per game…even worse than Wells (3-8, 3.69 ERA with Cubs, 7-4, 3.52 ERA with Dodgers, along with 3.4 in run support…which was nearly as bad as the Cubs, but almost 1 run more per game than the Cubs gave him, and you can see with his record how well he did. Using that same ratio, he should’ve been 14-8 overall, which would’ve been more in line with his production levels since signing with the Cubs)

            Mike Quade and Jim Hendry are both old school idiots…sorry for using those terms…just couldn’t think of anything else to describe them at the moment.

            Bottom line is they’ve both come out and said that “pitching wins ballgames”….

            In theory, that’s correct, but that assumes that your team can score more than 4 runs on a daily basis. Why? Because above average pitching is measured by those that have less than 4.00 ERA’s. It is a rarity that starting pitchers have less than a 3.00 ERA. And that’s why I believe there is a very fine line between an Ace-caliber pitcher, and one that is above average, such as a Matt Garza, etc.

            Here’s a list of the ERA leaders that past 10 seasons:
            2010 (NL AL) Josh Johnson (FLA) 2.30 Felix Hernandez (SEA) 2.27
            2009 (NL AL) Chris Carpenter (STL) 2.24 Zack Greinke (KCR) 2.16
            2008 (NL AL) Johan Santana * (NYM) 2.53 Cliff Lee * (CLE) 2.54
            2007 (NL AL) Jake Peavy (SDP) 2.54 John Lackey (LAA) 3.01
            2006 (NL AL) Roy Oswalt (HOU) 2.98 Johan Santana * (MIN) 2.77
            2005 (NL AL) Roger Clemens (HOU) 1.87 Kevin Millwood (CLE) 2.86
            2004 (NL AL) Jake Peavy (SDP) 2.27 Johan Santana * (MIN) 2.61
            2003 (NL AL) Jason Schmidt (SFG) 2.34 Pedro Martinez (BOS) 2.22
            2002 (NL AL) Randy Johnson * (ARI) 2.32 Pedro Martinez (BOS) 2.26
            2001 (NL AL) Randy Johnson * (ARI) 2.49 Freddy Garcia (SEA) 3.05
            2000 (NL AL) Kevin Brown (LAD) 2.58 Pedro Martinez (BOS) 1.74

            If you’re an Ace starter, it doesn’t matter if your team is near the bottom of the league in runs scored, provided that your ERA is under 3. Even the worst offensive teams score about 3 runs per game, therefore your chances of winning are exponentially higher than they’d otherwise be with just an above average pitcher.

            However, the Cubs have just 2 pitchers in their rotation that have ever achieved success like that, and they’ve both done it just one time in their respective careers. Zambrano 16-8, 2.75 ERA in 2004. Dempster 17-6, 2.96 ERA in 2008.

            They like to claim they have one of the best rotations in the league, but unfortunately, they only have a group of 3 sure-fire above league averages pitchers, one borderline (Wells), and one unknown (Cashner). If you combine that with a bottom of the barrel offense, which is PRECISELY what the Cubs have, then all three of Dempster, Zambrano, and Garza need to pitch like Aces, meaning ERA’s under 3, and both Wells and Cashner need to be above league average for them to even have a chance.

            Last year, with almost EXACTLY the same lineup they’re running out there this year, the Cubs averaged 4.22 runs per game on offense. Their collective team ERA was 4.24, which is all you need to know for how crappy their offense really was. To put this into perspective for you, the Giants averaged just 4.30 runs per game on offense, but their collective team ERA was 3.36. Their opponent, the Rangers, averaged 4.85 on offense, and a collective 3.93 ERA

            The other big problem with the Cubs last year was the fact Marshall and Marmol were the ONLY relievers (other than Maine’s 13 game stint) to have ERA’s under 4.11 (2.65 and 2.55 respectively)

            Let’s just say one of your above average pitchers happen to go 7 innings and give up 3 runs. A relief pitcher with an approximate ERA of 4.00 gives up .44 runs/9 IP, which means if you put them back-to-back, you can expect 1 more run to be given up by your pen on a daily basis (in the Cubs’ case, it was actually more than that, as most of their relievers had 5.66 ERA’s and above) So, with the final 3 innings, they were looking at about 1.32 runs….which takes you right near the 4.24 collective ERA I just mentioned.

            In order for the Cubs to succeed this year, they not only have to have “Ace” quality seasons and the above average seasons out of all their starters, but they also must have at least 4 relievers they can count on with ERA’s under 3 to even have a prayer winning games, due to their pathetic offense.

            This analysis I just did describes but a microcosm of problems that have plagued Hendry’s regime since he took over. When you put together a team, you want to make sure you have quite a few consistent performers mixed in, otherwise you’re relying on a bunch of players to have career years, and as everyone knows, that is NOT a strategy.

            “HOPE” is NOT a strategy…let me say that again…..”HOPE” is NOT a strategy. I guess the citizens of this country didn’t understand that 3 years ago…but that’s another topic for another day….even the Ricketts when they purchased the team said hope was not a strategy any longer…unfortunately they have yet to put that into practice, otherwise Hendry would’ve been jettisoned Day One.

          • Ripsnorter1

            This is precisely the Cubs’ predicament. Thank you for an excellent and accurate analysis. I was considering a like minded post concerning how all the above .500 teams last year scored more runs than their staff allowed. The Cubs have a weak and unknown bullpen (outside of Wood, Marshall and Marmol). For all I know, Marshall may have had his career year last year. Wood is on the decline, too. Grabow–not on the incline, either. Mateo may be another Guzman. He looks good. Let’s hope he is and that Jim Clueless doesn’t deal him off for nothing. You can just forgetabout Samardzija.Russell is no great shakes at this point, either. So we have a weak and inconsistent bullpen.

            Mateo: I am really thinking he may move up in the bullpen rotation if he continues to throw as he has since winter ball. If his control stays with him, he has a shut down arm. He’s a real wild card in this pen.

            Let’s pretend, for a moment, that he pulls off a Guzman and becomes a 6th inning shutdown type reliever. That opens up the 7th for Marshall, the 8th for Wood, and the 9th for Marmol. They are our best relievers, and the Cubs might have a chance at winning 81 games.

            The problem that prevents the Cubs from moving up in the division is the weak offense: NO POWER. Can’t score runs without slugging. Barney is simply a punch and judy type hitter. He is not a difference maker. He’s a reserve INF playing fulltime. Don’t look for great shakes from Funko, either, since he hasn’t enough power for his position (or BA, or clutch hitting). Byrd is not a power hitter. Soriano is on the decline. Soto gets hurt, and Hill should be called “the Hitless Wonder.” Pena has power–if he could only connect. Castro seems to be developing the power that the Cubs project from him. And Aram is Aram.

            Cubs should have signed Johnny Gomes and saved the $15 million on Byrd. They should have picked up Milledge and saved the Reed Johnson experiment.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Will you take 10 or over? That’s my bet with Gary. He won’t win 10 imo.

          • cubtex

            My answer to that is……HELL YES!! Let me know what amount and let’s exchange contact info.

          • Ripsnorter1

            It’s just right here–no money–a friendly no money wager.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Hey guys, I do not mind the healthy debate but please do not post email addresses on the site. I do not want to be responsible for passing on personal info on this site. If you guys want to contact one another, email me and I will forward email addresses.

            neil@chicagocubsonline.com

          • cubtex

            neil- no worries. I would never do that

      • cubtex

        You mean you don’t bitch on EVERY post????

    • carmelo

      Why do I believe Neil and not you when your both talking about Garza and the hits he’s given up. Neil says he’s given up 8 soft/bloop hits—and your saying he’s getting absolutely crushed. It’s like believing you when you say the pitchers love throwing to Clevenger. Show me when Z, and the other starters threw to Clevenger in a game situation. let me know when you get that GM post.

  • cc002600

    John CC,
    Reading is a skill

    I never said the cubs would win 86 games
    I said it might only take 86 wins to win this horrible divsion.

    And you said Arroyo will be ok ? LOL.
    He has mono. Have you ever had mono ?
    Say goodbye to him for 2 months, pal. It completely ZAPS your strength for weeks.

    If you think the Reds are the 1927 yankees, God Bless. Nice team, but very suspect pitching. NEWFLASH for ya: PITCHING wins !!!

    And PS – guess who their manager is….
    LOL

    • Ripsnorter1

      Their manager was well qualified to manage the Cubs. “nuff said.

      • paulcatanese

        Absolutly!!!!!

    • John_CC

      Reading is actually pretty easy; reading comprehension takes a little more thought. You said 86 wins could win this division (and I agree, ugly division), you also wrote: “This division is wide open. Yes, the cubs have issues but look at everyone else…”. I interpreted that as you saying the Cubs have a chance to win the division. Putting that together I read the entire statement as you thinking the Cubs could win the division, which would be 86 games.

      I have heard of mono, thank you, and know from experience that it does not affect the shoulder or elbow or any physical part of a pitcher’s arm. Arroyo will get healthy and pitch again. That’s all I meant.

      Now that you interpreted my stating that the Reds offense is superior to the Cubs as them being the ’27 Yankees, maybe you should work on your reading comprehension. NEWSFLASH: it doesn’t take much to be a better offensive team than the Cubs!

      Final thought regarding your unpredictable baseball statement and how stats are not necessarily repeated: I agree, but since the Cubs are basically a team of veterans on the decline – not counting Castro and Colvin – stats can and do tell us that most of the team will produce a little less than before, not more. Aramis – I Hope – shouldn’t get worse, but Sori, Byrd, Kosuke, Pena…not good. The Reds on the other hand have youth on their side and players that are getting better in Votto, Bruce and Stubbs.

  • Aaron

    another good nugget from AZ Phil:

    ********************************************************************************************
    The Cubs should have kicked the Max Ramirez roster issue down the line by waiting until the Thursday roster deadline to place him on the Designated List (Designated for Assignment), such that they would not have to place him on Outright Waivers until Wednesday April 6th. By that time most club’s will have firmed-up their 25-man roster for the first month of the season, and (more importantly) all MLB clubs will have already added veteran Non-Roster (NRI) players to their 40-man roster and 25-man roster (at which point the player gets an MLB guaranteed contract and probably won’t get released, at least not in April).

    As things stand now, with M. Ramirez clearing waivers on Wednesday at 1 PM (EDT), a club can claim him and still have time to release a Spring Training NRI player who would have otherwise been added to that club’s 25-man roster (and 40-man roster) on Thursday. The Cubs should have waited until Thursday, DFA M. Ramirez, and then wait to place him on Outright Waivers until a week from tomorrow.

    BTW, if the Cubs were to do that (DFA M. Ramirez on Thursday), they couldn’t wait any later than Wednesday April 6th to place him on Outright Waivers, because if he is placed on Outright Waivers on Thursday April 7th, he would not clear waivers until Monday April 11th (Saturdays and Sundays are considered “business days” by MLB only during Spring Training), which would exceed the ten-day limit MLB clubs have to trade, outright,or release a player who has been Designated for Assignment. But of course this is all moot, since the Cubs have (apparently) already placed M. Ramirez on Outright Waivers.
    ********************************************************************************************

    Neil, can you say yet another roster mismanagement move by Hendry?!?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Yep, the last several years are littered with them.

      • Ripsnorter1

        That is a tacit admission by Neil that Jim Clueless is Clueless.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        Is it possible that there was a gentlemans agreement to let him go early if he did not make the team? I know we had one with some of the NRI’s last year.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro recorded Cubs first hit, the Cubs have scored 5 so far in the third. The big hit, a bases clearing double by Carlos Pena on a 0-2 pitch.

  • paulcatanese

    Quade may be optimistic about this year and says it all starts with pitching, Miles should ask him what staff is he talking about,theirs or ours? The Cubs will have a decent staff but they will have to be heroic to overcome the lack of offense. He also said he was as happy as he could be after spring training , He really did not answer that statement, did he? And then again ,he did. Without some sticks in the lineup he cannot be too too happy, but given what he has on the roster he is happy with what he has. My post here makes as much sense as his statements.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Garza lifted after giving up a double and walking two in the fourth. Bases loaded and no outs, Scott Maine is coming in.

  • paulcatanese

    And thats what the Cub offense needs. All I have to do is bad mouth it and they have 5 straight hits and to top it off Pena hits one to LEFT center for a double. I guess they put me in my place,I should know better,never put the bats away until the game is over.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Maine served up a Grand Slam to Xavier Nady on a 3-2 pitch. D-Backs up 9-5, Garza credited with 7 runs on 11 hits in 3+ innings.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Scott Maine just served up his 3rd homer of the inning, a three-run shot by Kelly Johnson. D-Backs up 12-5

    • Tom U

      Um, about that closer job for Maine at Triple-A Iowa…..

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        Maine will be alright Tom. He does need some work though. He seems to be getting lit up like a christmas tree.

        • Tom U

          I should have put one of these, :-), on that post.

  • cubtex

    Matt Garza – 22.2 IP, 2.78 ERA, 4 BB, 21K, 7 ER, 6 HR
    Other than giving up some HR’s in the Spring, Garza has been quite dominant. In my opinion he has the best stuff on the staff and if he can put his emotions and his stuff on the same page, has a chance to be an All Star in 2010. He pitched his first 200 IP campaign in 09, and almost reached the 200K mark, striking out 189 batters. He is going to give up nearly a HR per start because he likes to throw hard, and he throws strikes, but many of the leagues top tier pitchers give up 20+ HR. If he can get his control in check, be prepared for a breakout year from Garza.

    This is what was written about Garza after Spring training in 2010!

    Aaron…..Give me a break with all this Garza sucks talk and all that!
    He is a quality pitcher who will have a good year!
    This is spring training !
    If he has a plus 4.50 ERA at the all star break and is giving up many more hits per innings pitched then you can pop off!

    • Ripsnorter1

      His 2011 ST ERA–before this start–was 8.68.
      Here’s the link to see for yourself:

      http://mlb.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=490063#sectionType=career&statType=2&season=&gameType='R

      • Ripsnorter1

        Before this start, the league was hitting .324 off of him. Plus all of those walks.

        I’m just hoping we should not have kept Silva and cut Garza instead . . . .

      • cubtex

        I know what his stats are Rip. Again…..Spring Training!!!!

    • Aaron

      You seem to like posting multiple times, blasting me, but nothing you say has any substance, or is factual for that matter. You have a few lemmings out there that agree with you…Namely Carmelo and cc002600….unfortunately, they claim the same baseless information you do.

      What the hell are you talking about with:
      “Matt Garza – 22.2 IP, 2.78 ERA, 4 BB, 21K, 7 ER, 6 HR”

      You claim that Garza has the best stuff on the staff, etc., but that’s purely subjective. It’s baseless. You cannot prove that.

      Furthermore, we’ve heard others coming up through the system such as Juan Cruz, Angel Guzman, etc. had the “Best stuff” in the system, yet never fulfilled their potential due to control or injury issues. The same was even said for Andy Sisco.

      What we know about Matt Garza is that he was barely above league average with the Rays.

      This is Garza’s average slash line: batting average against/OBP/SLG
      .252 .319 .404
      Here is the league average
      .264 .333 .418

      Now, check Zambrano’s stats out:
      .231 .323 .350 *his batting batting avg against is over 20 points lower, and SLG is over 50 points lower than Garza
      vs league avg of:
      .264 .333 .420 *note, the difference in SLG…it might be due to either NL averages, or it might be overall in his career, and since Z has been around longer, it might be league avg during that time

      Let’s look at Garza’s own teammate, David Price:
      .227 .303 .358

      I just don’t get your love affair with Garza. You make him out to be this potential Ace starter, and he’s nowhere near that level….never has been, and never will be

      • cubtex

        Aaron….What is so hard to understand?

        The stats are from spring training last year. I copied and pasted the story on Garza from a Tampa Bay Rays blog….like cco.

        You keep saying I don’t say anything factual. I gave you Pena’s numbers from the last 4 years and that is fabrication.
        I give you Garza’s ST stats from 2010 and you say I am not giving you anything
        You are like one of these people who says…….”Don’t confuse me with the facts…my mind is made up!”

        You say Garza will suck because he has been terrible this spring….I say it doesn’t matter. We will see who is right.

        As I said…he has been pitching in the Grapefruit league for years and this is his first spring training in Arizona(known as a hitters league) Not an excuse but knowing Garza’s drive,competitveness and stuff…..I am pretty confident that te Cubs will be happy with Garza when it is all said and done!

    • GaryLeeT

      What are those Garza stats from? The playoffs for the Rays? Those teams had a real defense behind their pitchers. The Cubs have a poor defense, and are no where near being a playoff team. Besides, do you mean to tell me that Garza is still working on some things, and doesn’t care if he is getting shelled? He’s had 3 spring trainings. The first one, he did poorly, and ended up 8-12 that season. The 2nd, was fantastic, and he went 15-10.

      • cubtex

        Of course he is not happy he is having a bad spring but you mean to tell me that because he sucks in spring he will suck all year? Cmon man! You must know a little more about baseball than that!

  • Bryan

    It amazes me the consumption of Cubs Kool-aid still being chugged by some here. While all of us (even those as critics) will continue to root for the north siders, how can anyone on this site applaud the makeup of this team with the $130m payroll? You can’t expend a top tier payroll and then realize mid-level (at best) results, and have your fan base accept/tolerate that. Candidly, I find the management of the Cubs (from top ownership on down) to be embarrassing in representing a major market. It’s time for the Cubs fan base to step up, take off the goggles on the prettiness/nostalgia of Wrigley Field (though that’s now looking aged), and hold the management team accountable via demonstrated drops in actual attendance, product sales, etc.

    • cc002600

      What kool-aid ? has anyone predicted here the cubs will win the divsion ? All I have ever said is that anything can happen. There are soooooooo many surprises during EVERY baseball season. How many people picked the Giants to win it all last year ? Who picked the Rangers to make WS ? Did anyone pick the cubs in 1984 ? 1989 ? 1998 ? 2003 ? 2007 ? 2008? Many of those prior years they were GOD awful…..in 2006, they lost 95 games. Dude, happens all the time. EVERY year is different. Last year was last year. Doesn’t mean a hill of beans anymore.

      Will they win this year ? probably not. But can we at least wait till the season starts before we bury them ???? holy crap.

      Enjoy the ride.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat:

    Matt Garza on spring in AZ: “It stinks.” Why? He says: “You grab a ball & you feel like you’re throwing slime ‘cuz it’s so slippery”

    • Aaron

      That’s all he does is make excuses. Curiously, I don’t see many other top tier pitchers sucking as bad as he has. Dempster, Zambrano, and Wells haven’t complained about that.

      LOL…yet another poor attitude Hendry added, and all of this for 4 of out Top 10 prospects. I’m NOT saying they’re going to be stars or anything, but Archer and Lee sure have a pretty damn good shot at being stars. Garza, meanwhile sucks all around…both on the field and his attitude off

      • cubtex

        Dempster Wells and Z have all pitched in AZ before for spring training. Lighten up Mr. Positive!!! Are you ever happy?
        I will bet when the season starts…Garza will be solid. To say a 15 game winner with a sub 4 ERA in the AL East sucks is idiotic.

        • Tony_Hall

          Garza should have a very good start to the season. We have a weak schedule to start and the cold weather at Wrigley, will keep the ball from flying out of the park so easy.

          And of course, it won’t be as dry in Chicago, he will be able to get a grip on the ball.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        If you want to gripe about Garza’s excuses Aaron that is one thing but most of the stuff I have read about him is he is a great teammate. From playing hide and seek with Kerry Woods kids to hiding the laundry baskets after spring training drills. He has been light hearted and generally great to be around so you argument about a “poor attitude” doesn’t hold water yet.

        • Tony_Hall

          Garza has been known as having issues. Even the hardest of people to get along with have fun.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

            Not saying he is the great Emancipator just that until his attitude does become a daily issue then we can call it an attitude problem. Now it is just a perceived lack of responsibility. You never know the reasoning behind it. It maybe he is pressing to impress and not wanting to sweat it to the media or it could be he is use to certain conditions.

            Primadonna and moody pitchers are all in perspective. Remember Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson were both considered some of the surliest people to be around on their respective game days. But you never talked to them about it after they got you the W. If Garza wins all this will be forgotten.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Murphy’s Law: If one misfit leaves an organization, another misfit will be recruited to take his place.” ergo, Bradley, then Silva, and now: GARZA!

        • cubtex

          He is just extremely competitive! He wants to be left alone a day before his starts and does what he needs to do to prepare. If wanting to win badly and being competitive is a bad thing…..then he is terrible.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Hopefully Garza will get extra Popeye’s before Sunday’s start.

      • Tony_Hall

        When I saw the CCO Twitter come out with his latest excuse, it made me think the same thing, about giving up 4 prospects for this guy. He has a new excuse everytime.

        I would have had a lot of respect for Garza, if he had just said, he had a bad spring, and that he’s glad these numbers don’t count, and they he would be doing everything he can, to make this spring a distance memory.

        Don’t these guys get any coaching on what it’s like to come to a big market team. All of your comments are out there, fast.

        • paulcatanese

          Kind of reminds me of someone who just got released that blamed everyone but himself. What he said was PURE BUSH. And I guess he wont be throwing in AZ anytime soon, cant risk getting slime all over his hands. Slime and landing spots,whats next? Thats the kind of stuff that teamates get tired of soon.With the defense he has behind him he already has exuses lined up

    • Ripsnorter1

      Garza later admitted that the slime on the ball was his own snot, Neil. He’s a real snothead.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Bruce Miles:

    Matt Garza on pitching in the Cactus League: “It sucks here; it’s so dry.” Not chamber of commerce kind of material.

    • Bryan

      Matt Garza needs to take some accountability lessons from Dempster. Typical Cubs…let’s make excuses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    Hey Neil did Garza show all his pitches this time out? I know that AZ is on the schedule early. Just wondered if maybe they were playing don’t show them anything today?

  • Tom U

    Keep an eye out for Diamondbacks pitcher Kyler Newby. I remembered his name from th Puerto Rican League this past winter. He was 4-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 9 starts.

  • Gary J

    I’m waiting to comment on Garza until Sunday when it actually matters. Although if he goes 6 quality with 8 Ks and gets the win it’ll be “it’s just the Bucs”

    • Tony_Hall

      Garza should have a very good start to the season, the it’s just the bucs, and some other lower level teams, should help the Cubs and Garza to get off to a quick start.

    • paulcatanese

      True, Gary it is just the Bucs. Arent they the team that finished at the bottom of the Central in 2010? I certainly would hope that he will beat the Bucs, if he is so great he should,unless of course there is a mudslide or any other kind of disater.

    • GaryLeeT

      Considering the Cubs’ performance against Pittsburgh last year, no one will be able to say “it’s just the Bucs”.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Thank you for bringing that up … the Cubs were horrible against the Pirates last year.

  • Baron_S

    Meanwhile!!! Jake Fox leads MLB in Spring Training with 10HRs…

    • GaryLeeT

      Nobody rooted for Jake more than I, when he was a Cub, and I am so glad to see he might prosper, now that he has left the depressing Oakland system. Like Casey McGehee before him, he reminds me of what can happen once a good player (and good guy) breaks the chains of Hendry’s stupid (Hill) process of player valuation.

    • paulcatanese

      Way to go Baron!!!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        And he still is not going to make the cut for Baltimore unless something has changed the last couple days.