Matt Garza throws well in bullpen
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org July 30, 2012 10:16PM
Cubs batter Darwin Barney launches a three-run homerun in the fourth inning of Chicago Cubs-Pittsburgh Pirates game Monday July 30, 2012 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: September 1, 2012 6:18AM
The news Monday that right-hander Matt Garza threw well in the bullpen might have an impact on other teams, with the non-waiver trade deadline at
3 p.m. Tuesday.
For the Cubs, it means Garza might start by the end of the week — provided he isn’t traded and feels no discomfort Tuesday. Reports late Monday indicated the Cincinnati Reds were interested in him.
‘‘Matt threw a full bullpen, and it went entirely well,’’ manager Dale Sveum said. ‘‘He threw all his pitches, had velocity. He extended himself with sliders and changeups. It went well. We’ll see how he feels [Tuesday] and hopefully schedule him in three or
Garza hasn’t pitched since July 21, when he left a start in St. Louis after three innings because of discomfort in his right triceps. Like right-hander Ryan Dempster, his name has been prominent in trade rumors. Unlike Dempster, he isn’t eligible for free agency after the season and would remain under the Cubs’ control next season.
Bryan LaHair was chosen as an All-Star because of the surprisingly strong April and May he had. But he has cooled off since, hitting only .231 in June (15-for-65) and .203 in July (12-for-59). He is 0-for-15 in his last five games.
‘‘He’s obviously in a tough period,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘We have to get him going, get that bat going somehow. We have to get production from that position.’’
Since Anthony Rizzo was called up June 26 from Class AAA Iowa, LaHair has played right field. His 14 home runs are second on the team to Alfonso Soriano (19), but he hasn’t homered since July 4.
Heart and hustle
The MLB Players Alumni Association chose second baseman Darwin Barney as the Cubs’ winner of its Heart and Hustle Award.
A player from each team is recognized for demonstrating leadership values and personifying the spirit of the game on and off the field. One player will be chosen from the 30 teams Nov. 13 for the overall award.
Barney received his award from former Cubs right-hander Milt Pappas.
The Cubs have scored in the first inning in each of their last six games, including a run Monday against Pittsburgh Pirates starter Erik Bedard.
The last time they scored in the first inning in at least six consecutive games was a stretch from Sept. 26 to
Oct. 1, 2001, according to STATS LLC.
At 15-9 this month, the Cubs are assured of a winning July for the first time since they finished the month 18-9 in 2009. They were 12-14 in July in 2010 and 9-17 last season.