Results tagged ‘ Matt Garza ’

1000 Words: Serial Soaker

Matt Garza strikes again, following the Cubs’ dramatic 8-6 win over the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field Wednesday. The Cubs trailed 6-5 in the 8th inning, but some excellent base running from Tony Campana and Starlin Castro helped tie the game at six. Darwin Barney hit a two-out, two-run, walk-off home run to send the Cubs faithful home happy and seal the series sweep.

(Photo by Stephen Green)

Hot off the presses: Vine Line May issue featuring Jeff Samardzija

Baseball has always been about reinvention. Even at the major league level, players change positions all the time.

But few have done so with the regularity, and consistent success, of Cubs No. 3 starter Jeff Samardzija. After an outstanding career on the gridiron at Notre Dame—and the promise of an NFL career as a wide receiver—Samardzija changed course when he was drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Cubs.

After a few up-and-down years, the 6’5″, 225-pound flamethrower arrived as a major league pitcher in 2011, posting a 2.97 ERA in 75 appearances out of the bullpen. But there was one problem—Samardzija saw himself as a starter. So when the 2012 offseason rolled around, he headed to Arizona and dedicated himself to securing a spot in the Cubs rotation.

Five months later, Samardzija joined Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster as stalwarts in the Cubs biggest area of strength—their starting rotation. In the May issue of Vine Line, we look at Samardzija’s long road to the Cubs rotation, his mile-long competitive streak and how be became a more complete pitcher.

We also have an exclusive Q&A with the man who is reinventing what it means to play baseball the “Cubs Way,” General Manager Jed Hoyer. We go in depth about why he wanted the Cubs job (which he calls “the best in sports”) and his expectations for 2012 and beyond.

“If you acquire players who play hard—and we have a manager who is going to stress that—if you do the little things well, you always have that chance to catch lightning in a bottle,” Hoyer said.

Finally, we go inside the numbers with four key players—and the advanced metrics that explain why they are so important to the Cubs success.

This season, reinvent the way you get news from your favorite team by subscribing to vineline.mlblogs.com. If you live in the Chicago area, pick up the May issue at select Barnes and Noble, Jewel, Walgreens and Meier locations. Or subscribe to Vine Line today.

Cactus Notes: Lopez to start spring opener

MESA, Ariz.–Manager Dale Sveum announced today that Rodrigo Lopez will start the Cactus League opener on Sunday versus the Oakland A’s. He’ll be followed in the rotation by Ryan Dempster on March 5, also against the A’s, and Matt Garza on March 6 against the Rockies.

Although Dempster was the Cubs’ Opening Day starter in 2011, Sveum said not to read too much into that pitching order.

“We’ll make that decision in the middle [of Spring Training],” Sveum said. “It’s set up to where we’re good with whatever we decide.”

Cubs send reliever Carpenter to Red Sox

After months of back-and-forth, the Theo Epstein compensation issue has finally been settled with the Boston Red Sox. The Chicago Cubs today assigned right-handed pitcher Chris Carpenter and a player to be named to the Red Sox for a player to be named.

“I am relieved that this process is over and particularly pleased that the teams were able to reach agreement on their own without intervention from MLB,” Epstein said. “I truly hope and believe that this resolution will benefit both clubs, as well as Chris, who is an extremely talented reliever joining a great organization at a time when there’s some opportunity in the major league bullpen.”

Last season, Carpenter combined to make 42 relief appearances between Double-A Tennessee, Triple-A Iowa and the Cubs, his first major league action. The 26-year-old right-hander spent most of his time with Iowa, going 2-3 with one save and a 6.53 ERA (22 ER/30.1 IP) in 22 relief outings. Carpenter posted no record and a 2.79 ERA (3 ER/9.2 IP) in 10 relief outings in the majors.

The Red Sox and Cubs have been locked in a disagreement over the Epstein compensation package for months, ever since he left the Red Sox shortly after the end of the 2011 season to become the Cubs president of baseball operations. The Red Sox initially asked for some of the Cubs’ top major and minor league talent, including pitcher Matt Garza and outfielder Brett Jackson.

“More than anything, I’m excited that we can all move forward and focus exclusively on getting ready for the season,” Epstein said. “I wish Chris and the Red Sox nothing but the best in 2012 and beyond.”

Cubs, Garza agree to terms on 2012 contract

The Chicago Cubs and right-hander Matt Garza avoided salary arbitration by agreeing to terms on a 2012 contract. Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.

Garza, 28, is expected to anchor the Cubs pitching staff this season, after going 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA in 31 starts last year. He also led the team in strikeouts, with 197 in 198 innings pitched. Last season, Garza’s first with the Cubs, marked the third time in his career he’s reached at least 10 wins.

Garza was acquired from Tampa Bay in an eight-player deal on Jan. 8, 2011. He’s holds a 52-54 career mark, with a 3.83 ERA in 152 appearances (149 starts) with Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Chicago.

1000 Words: Reliable Rami

What a game, what a night: James Russell and Matt Garza were the first ones out to mob Aramis Ramirez after hitting a ninth-inning walk-off single in the Cubs’ 2-1 win over the Giants. (Photos by David Durochik)

The Chicago Cubs salute our troops

Matt Garza and Carlos Pena with the U.S. Army

This Memorial Day weekend, the entire Chicago Cubs family and Vine Line would like to thank U.S. troops everywhere for their service to our country. The following story is condensed from Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer’s cover story from the April issue of Vine Line.

If Matt Garza looks especially intense at times on the mound, or especially busy behind the scenes, or even a little strong-willed at times, it might have something to do with lessons from his dad.

Rudy Garza, an Army officer and career military man who had stressed the values of hard work and accountability in his kids since they were small, did tours of duty in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Watch "The Reinforcements"“He made sure we stayed in one spot so that we had a normal upbringing and could play sports and stuff like that,” Matt said of avoiding the sometimes nomadic life of a military family. “But we weren’t raised with a lot of things, so we had to take pride in what we had and what we do. We were taught to always work hard, nothing was ever given to us, and nothing was ever going to be given to you. Just keep working, keep working and stay determined until you get it.”

Now Playing: The Reinforcements

Watch "The Reinforcements"

Click image to play “The Reinforcements.”

It’s Vine Line come to life like never before: Watch an exclusive video of Matt Garza and Carlos Peña from our May cover feature. Both players participated in a photo shoot at an Army base and talked about how they intend to bolster the Cubs, off the field and on it, this season.

Keep coming back this week for more exclusive video from the Vine Line team.

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