The All Star Break is a time for players and coaches to relax, enjoy a few days off and recharge the batteries for the second half. The last few years, it’s been our chance to escape from watching horrid baseball, though this year is a different story. It has been a struggle at times in the first half, but the Chicago Cubs have won six of their last eight games and haven’t been making us want to pull our hair out quite as much as they normally do. Of course, that could all change if more trades are made and we’re relegated to watching half the Iowa roster come to Chicago.
The one player most mentioned in trade rumors is Matt Garza. He pitched well again yesterday, and the fans at Wrigley Field gave him a well-deserved ovation as he left the game after 6 2/3 innings pitched. It was one of those “we may never see you again, but thanks for the memories” moments. Garza missed it, as he was frustrated that he didn’t finish the seventh inning.
“I didn’t really pay attention, I was pissed off that I didn’t finish that inning,” Garza said. “Everybody said that everybody stood up and was clapping for me. That’s awesome. But 6 2/3 doesn’t deserve that. Seven, eight, nine does. I appreciate it, but I hope this isn’t my last one.”
And this is why we’ll miss him if/when he gets traded. The absence of his honesty, passion for the game and pitching ability will be noticed. Last night’s win put the Cubs in the position to at least split the four game series with the Cards, and potentially win three out of four. While it’s always nice to win the last game before the Break, it’s even better to win the last game against the Cardinals and know that all of St. Louis will be sad. Adam Wainwright (12-5, 2.30) will be attempting to keep St. Louis happy as tonight’s starter for the Cards. He’s an All Star and has the opportunity to be the NL’s first 13-game winner. The Cubs counter with their own All Star, Travis Wood (6-6, 2.69). Wood has been a quality start machine this season, with 17 in 18 starts. Hopefully we’ll be discussing 18 for 19 in tomorrow’s headlines.
The lineup has not yet been posted. I’ll update when it becomes available. Game time is 7:05 Central, and you’ll be able to watch on ESPN.