Today the Cubs took down the Reds 7-4. The bits:

  • Matt Garza was modestly effective into the fifth inning when, presumably, he ran up against his pitch count. He hadn’t given up a run, but did leave two base runners who eventually scored. I say only “modestly” effective because, to that point, although Garza hadn’t given up a run, he had allowed seven hits and three walks. You know what? I take it back. That’s not modestly effective. It’s pretty crappy. At least he struck out six.
  • Those base runners who eventually scored did so against new righty Shawn Camp. His line ended up fine (2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2K, 0 R), but allowing the inherited runners to score never looks good. It was just Camp’s first appearance for the Cubs, though, and he was having a good Spring (statistically, anyway) with the Mariners. I have a feeling that we’ll see Camp at some point in the Cubs’ pen, but maybe not right out of the gate. He’s on a Minor League deal, so the Cubs can send him down for a bit.
  • Rule 5 pick Lendy Castillo got an extended look today (given that the Cubs are making a bunch of decisions tomorrow apparently (about which, more later), could it be that Castillo is still on the fence?), with two innings of work. He gave up three hits, a balk, and a run. He struck out one. I still say the upside in keeping him is worth it, at least to start the year (unless the Phillies are willing to let the Cubs keep him for little).
  • Darwin Barney continues to hit the crap out of the ball, adding another three hits today, two of which were doubles. I say: good. Keep doing it, Darwin. I want to do a 180 and become your biggest fan (as a starter, I mean – I’m already a big fan as a roster-worthy bench guy) by the end of the year. Seriously. Make it happen.
  • Ditto Bryan LaHair, whose Spring average is all the way up to .309 now. Keep it hot, Bryan.
  • Welington Castillo had a couple hits, including a tie-breaking homer in the 9th (Dave Sappelt’s subsequent three-run bomb was totally superfluous, score be damned). Castillo also allowed a passed ball. At this point, I think we know where each back-up catching competitor stands: Castillo offers a little more power and a better arm, Clevenger offers a better non-power bat (lefty) and a slightly better overall game behind the plate. There’s no “wrong” choice here, but I stand by Clevenger as the guy I want, with his lefty bat being the tie-breaker.
  • On the other side of the ball, the Reds’ ace Mat Latos left the game with a strained calf, and is day to day. Well, that’s the official story anyway. If you want to try and convince me that Dusty didn’t straight up feast on Latos’ calf during the pre-game buffet, you can. But I ain’t buyin’ it.
  • Zach

    Isn’t it Shawn Camp, not David. And i would rather have him start the year in AAA and then maybe have him be called up later in the season.

    • TWC

      It’s “Camp-ana”. ┬áHTH.

    • Brett

      That’s how new he is… (my bust – fixed)

      • Cubbie Blues

        At least you didn’t put “Minor League Guy”.

  • brittney

    Now didn’t garza last year have a number of gamers where he struck out as many batters as he did walks (or was it hits) but it was early in the season.

    • TWC

      Wasn’t his first game as a Cub 12 hits, 12Ks, and his second like 8 hits, 8Ks?

  • MaxM1908

    I wouldn’t call Sappelt’s three run blast superfluous considering the Reds scored one in the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs won by three. I’d say it was the game winner.

    • Brett

      Yeah, I was kind of being sarcastic there – didn’t come off well.

  • pfk

    Hey, this is all well and good but the BIG NEWS of the day was the Dodgers being sold for $2B! That makes the Rickett’s purchase of the Cubs a great deal that has already paid off. Whenever they go to sell it, the value will be astronomical. Bankers know that. City officials will see it. The next phase, the renovation of Wrigley, will finally happen. The Dodger sale is HUGE!

    • King Jeff

      Not really. From what I’m hearing, they are going to get all of the Chavez Ravine parking lots too. With that and the new tv deal the Dodgers are getting ready to sign, it makes sense that they would be valued much more than the Cubs and their no parking/crappy tv deals.

      • CubFan Paul

        I thought McCourt was keeping the parking lots/land for $150M, on top of profiting something after he pays all his creditors in full from the $2Billion..

  • THEOlogical

    Hey Brett, I never like to write anything negative on your board, so please forgive me in advanced. A pitcher, with the quality of Garza, should be fine with his outing today. I didn’t see it, but if he gave up 7 hits in 4+ and didn’t allow a runner to score, that should be a modestly effective start for him. Albeit, two runs did score on his account, he still pitched out of jams apparently. Every pitcher wont be throwing lights out baseball each time their spot in the rotation comes up, so why is it crappy to be able to come away with no runners scoring? 2 runners did score eventually but u know what I mean. Again, don’t like to be negative, so please just understand where I’m coming from. I love your site and read it everyday!