The Cup is ours. No, not that Cup. Well, actually, that Cup, too, but I’m talking about the Crosstown Cup! For the first time in the history of the BP Crosstown Cup, the series has been swept. And it was swept by a certain team from a certain side of a certain city, my frents.
With scouts from the Giants, Dodgers and Pirates among the professional vultures surveying the carcasses of the non-contending White Sox and Cubs as the trade deadline looms, the crosstown rivals competed Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field as if the outcome really mattered.
The Cubs completed this season’s domination of the South Siders with an 8-2 victory and a delayed sweep of the four-game series.
The makeup of the rained-out May 28 game got underway after a 29-minute rain delay as a crowd of 31,552 assembled to watch Matt Garza showcase his talents against Sox starter Hector Santiago.
Garza (5-1) went seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out six. The Cubs peppered Sox pitchers with 13 hits and used a five-run eighth inning to seal the deal.
Alas, depsite Garza’s third stellar outing in a row, and despite yesterday’s hilarious-and-obviously-intentionally-planted-rumor, he’s still probably going to be traded:
Garza will be a free agent and is expected to hit the market no matter where he winds up.
The latest wrinkle in the Garza sweepstakes was a report by CBSSports.com that the Cubs have spoken to Garza’s agent about a possible extension. A team source confirmed the talks but said the sides were far apart in their estimation of Garza’s value, and a trade still is likely to happen in the next three weeks.
After Monday night’s game, Garza said he wants to stay and that it’s 50/50 that he will get an extension.
“It’s always on the table,” he said. “I voice my opinion on how I love it here. My family loves it here and it’s always something that you think about. Like I said, I don’t know which route they’re going to go. I’m just going to keep doing my part and get ready for every five days.”
In news of other good starters, why won’t the Cubs let Travis Wood pitch?
For the first time since 1998, the Cubs will go into the All-Star Game knowing none of their players will participate.
Travis Wood pitches Sunday and will not be available. Though the collective bargaining agreement says a starter can pitch up to one inning if he elects to, the Cubs have told NL manager Bruce Bochy they don’t want him to pitch. Bochy will chose a replacement, likely Giants reliever Sergio Romo.
“The good thing about it is he’ll be pitching Sunday night” on ESPN’s nationally televised game,” manager Dale Sveum said. “A pretty good venue for a guy who deserves as much as anybody to be in the game, and to pitch on Sunday night against the Cardinals leading into the All Star Game is promoting the All-Star Game as much as anything.”
(Steps up onto soap-box) So here’s the thing: This is Travis Wood’s first all-star game. Given the Cubs luck, he’ll probably completely suck every year after this one and never make another all-star team. For crying out loud, let the guy pitch. I get that he’s pitching on Sunday night and pitching on a Tuesday will mess up his schedule, blah blah blah. But what are they worried about keeping him on schedule for? A huge run at the postseason? The charge to the top of the division? Find someone else to pitch Sunday. Let Travis have his moment in the sun.
In other news that makes me mad, the Cubs scoreboard is about to get a whole lot more commercial (which we knew), as the club has outlined a plan to cram ads onto the outfield walls, behind home plate, and even on the scoreboard clock. I’m not a Wrigley Field purist by any sense of the imagination, but I also don’t want to see it resemble a NASCAR . . car. Here are some helpful graphics showing where the team could put additional signs.
The Cubs kick off a two-game series against the Angels tonight at Wrigley, before the Cardinals come to town on Thursday. I’ll be throwing out the first pitch on Thursday, and as I stood on the rubber and bounced it off home plate the last time around, I’m looking for tips on not looking like an idiot. Thanks in advance.