Matt Garza scratched from rehab start
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com April 23, 2013 10:18PM
Darwin Barney, Corky Miller
Updated: April 24, 2013 12:04AM
CINCINNATI — Even on the day the Cubs got their first road victory in nearly three weeks, they couldn’t win.
Darwin Barney had barely crossed the plate after hitting the go-ahead home run in a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night when general manager Jed Hoyer informed beat writers that $10 million pitcher Matt Garza had been scratched from a minor-league rehab start Wednesday, scuttling the plan for a mid-May return.
Garza, who missed the final seven weeks of last season with an elbow injury and all of this spring because of a lat strain, appears to have a “dead arm,” said Hoyer, referring to a common soreness and fatigue some pitchers get during spring training.
“It’s all muscular. Nothing structural. We’ll give him a couple days, have him throw a bullpen and hopefully get him right back on schedule,” said Hoyer, who said it’s not related to his occasional elbow problems, which appear to be caused by a screw that remains in the bone from a non-baseball injury suffered as a child.
Through Tuesday, Garza had spent 116 days on the disabled list as a Cub — and 17 in his career before that.
Hoyer joined the club in the aftermath of manager Dale Sveum calling out players to perform or face demotion, then questioning his own security.
“Dale has our complete support, and that’s not what he should be thinking about in the least,” Hoyer said. “We’re all in it together.
“I feel like if you watch what causes our team to struggle, it’s painful to watch. We keep squandering leads. That’s on [president] Theo [Epstein] and me. We have to figure out ways to get better. We’re not the most talented team in the league right now. We have to build to get there.
“But as we get there, we can’t continue to make the kind of mistakes we’ve been making. We have to clean it up. We have to get better. And that’s on us.”
Carlos Marmol (2-1) blew the save in the ninth but got the win when the Cubs rallied in the 10th. He leads the team in wins. And, no, he’s not the closer. He entered with one out in the ninth to face Joey Votto, who was 1-for-15 with nine strikeouts against Marmol until grounding a single past a diving Barney at second to tie the game.
◆ Despite the win, the Cubs left another starter, Carlos Villanueva, with nothing to show for a stellar outing.
“He’s been outstanding,” Sveum said.
Cubs starters have a 3.04 ERA, third-best in the majors, but only a 3-10 record.
◆ Barney homered despite ticking the catcher’s mitt on the swing. The interference was obviously a moot point. “Maybe I would have rolled it over if I didn’t hit his glove,” Barney said.