It’s funny that, because of the surrounding circumstances, last night the Cubs sent a pitcher to the bump, and everyone was perplexed, given his status as a member of the trade block. Tonight, the Cubs do the same thing, but, because of the surrounding circumstances, there isn’t even a question about it.

The pitcher, of course, is Matt Garza, who’ll look to continue his recent stretch of pitching well, and I’m sure there will, once again, be a number of scouts in attendance.

Garza, by the way, hasn’t been as bad this year as you might think. His 3.57 xFIP (which tries to factor out the bad luck associated with his unsustainably high HR/FB percentage, among other things) is 27th in all of baseball.

Someone in the Boston media suggested yesterday that the Red Sox weren’t sure if Garza would be an upgrade over anyone in their current rotation. You know how many Red Sox pitchers are ahead of Garza in xFIP?


Game Info

Chicago Cubs (38-54) at St. Louis Cardinals (48-45), 6:15pm CT on WGN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02 ERA, 3.57 xFIP)


Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82 ERA, 3.70 xFIP)

St. Louis Cardinals Lineup

1. Rafael Furcal, SS

2. Skip Schumaker, 2B

3. Matt Holliday, LF

4. Carlos Beltran, RF

5. Yadier Molina, C

6. Lance Berkman, 1B

7. David Freese, 3B

8. Jon Jay, CF

9. Jake Westbrook, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David JeJesus, CF

2. Starlin Castro, SS

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Bryan LaHair, RF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Darwin Barney, 2B

8. Luis Valbuena, 3B

9. Matt Garza, P

  • Patrick G

    xFIP better than Johnny Cueto, James McDonald, Jered Weaver, C.J Wilson just to name a few…

  • someday…2015?

    It would be nice to see a strong performance from Garza on the road tonight. As long as there are no bunts or little dribblers near Garza I think he’s going to have a solid game tonight.

  • calicubsfan007

    I hope Garza does well tonight. Would be nice to see a trade soon…

  • baldtaxguy

    I hate the Cardinals.

  • ReiCow

    “I’m getting pretty tired of hearing about Matt Garza’s ‘bad’ season.” – You don’t have him messing up your fantasy team all year! xFIP isn’t a category normally used in fantasy. :)


    • Brett

      I love that you moo.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    “Someone in the Boston media suggested yesterday that the Red Sox weren’t sure if Garza would be an upgrade over anyone in their current rotation.”

    Translation: somebody in the Boston media still using baseball card stats is not sure if Garza is an upgrade over Becket et al., and thus is unable to grasp that the Boston FO might be using numbers less prone to sample size foibles than he/she is using…..

  • http://deleted Mr. Gonzo

    I realize the market is a bit undefined right now, but are these returns in the ballpark of realistic?

    Garza +1 to LA for Lee/Reed
    Dempster +1 to ATL for Teheran or Gilmartin
    Maholm to PIT for Jeff Locke or Justin Wilson

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Garza will bring back more than a top 50 and another top 10 player in an organization. I would assume the FO is looking for 2 top 100 players and another top 10 player in an organization.

      Dempster as much as I love him, will not bring back a consensus top 5 prospect in all of Baseball or Gilmartin. If he would, he would have already been gone.

      Most teams understand we are going to be bidding against ourselves with two of the top pitchers on the market, and are trying to stall until the end of the month to get more of a bargain than you would expect. Our FO is pretty smart though, and if teams try and do that, don’t be surprised if Dempster goes and Garza is gone in the offseason.

  • JNasty

    I’m a cubs fan living in Red Sox nation, and fans here are drooling over the idea of getting Garza. The only problem I see is most of there pitching prospects are in the low minors and Theo seems to be after pitcher is the higher levels.

    • daveyrosello

      Other than Bogaerts, there’s no one in the Boston system that really interests me. Hope Theo feels the same way.

      • JNasty

        I like the catcher Lavarnway, but I would rather get some front of the rotation pitching.

  • Mike S

    If Dempster doesn’t go to LA, I wouldn’t mind seeing him go to Washington. They have some interesting pitching prospects. Maybe Theo and Co. can squeeze Alex Meyer from the Nats.

    • Brett

      I’d be very, very surprised. Happy, but very surprised.

      • Mike S

        Hypothetically, who would you rather have?

        Zach Lee
        Julio Teharan
        Alex Meyer
        Shelby Miller

        • JNasty

          I really like Teheran. I would love any of those names though.

        • Luke

          In order:
          1 – Teheran
          1a – Miller
          2 – Meyer

          3 – Lee

          • Luke

            Actually, the drop off should probably right after Miller rather than right after Meyer. Either way, Lee is not in the same clas as Teheran and Miller.

          • Brett

            I rank them the same, though I’m not sure I’d have the extra ellipses (and I’d have to give a little thought to 1 and 1a).

            • Wester

              I…hate…unproperly used…ellipses…

              • Wester


  • Alex

    The Smokies are beating Zach Lee and Chattanooga 4-0 going into the bottom of the 3rd. Two of the runs off of Lee are unearned though.

  • leroy k.

    probably old news, but ESPN is reporting Dodgers more interested in Garza now.

  • AD

    @Carrie Muskat reporting that Matt Garza has been pulled from the game.

    • Wester

      Not for any good reason though

      • Brad

        Mlbtraderumors reporting his tampon fell out and he tripped over it at first base.

  • someday…2015?

    Great. Juuuuuuust great.

  • josh2

    Garza left the game after 3 innings.

  • Brad

    Garzas such a pussy I hope they trade his dumbass.
    He’s goes out of the game when his vagina gets irritated. Im
    a huge cubs he’s a #2 starter at best! Get him out of here
    he is stinking up our payroll.

  • Brad

    “Yeah we want your best prospects for garza”. “Garza? You mean the guy who lasts 6 innings at most if he doesn’t get hot flashes?”….

    That’s what I see in the dialogue between Epstein&Co and the dodgers, angels, redsox, blue jays and rangers. Jeez…. Between this and the Dempster start last night it’s just sent me over the edge. This is my first post, ive been checking bnation every 10 min literally since, god knows year ago or so…. Sorry to rant…

  • Mike S

    Can we expect Zach Lee from the Dodgers if Garza is the one being traded?

    • Brad

      AT LEAST lee plus more. If there is not a solid upside trade for garza, he will dealt in the offseason or next year deadline. No way he gets extended. He wants to much $$$, look at what happened during arbitration. Theo will not keep around or invest in big time contracts (-Castro) until Soriano comes off the books. So buckle in for the ride.

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Im not even sure the Dodgers have a good enough farm system for Garza trade. Its Zach Lee and then huge drop off in talent