Matt Garza was once again magnificent on Wednesday night out in Oakland. He went eight innings, gave up just four hits, and one earned run on the way to helping the Cubs to a 3-1 win. The only run came off a Brandon Moss solo in the fourth inning. With this start, Garza has without a doubt solidified himself as the best starting pitcher available come trade deadline and rumors are he could be gone within the next five days.
The key for the Cubs was getting from starter to closer, no middle relief needed because of how shaky they have been all year. Garza went his eight and then Kevin Gregg came in for his 14th save of the year.
Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon had a nice start as well, but was outmatched by Garza in this one. Colon went seven strong innings, gave up nine hits, and two earned runs. The loss makes Colon’s record 11-3.
The Cubs offense remains hot, in the first game against Oakland they managed 13 hits, and they were able to get to 12 in game two. Hopefully the Cubs can stay up in double digits in the hit department because that will win you a lot of games, usually. Alfonso Soriano got everything started in the first inning when he singled to drive in Starlin Castro. Then in the fourth, Luis Valbuena hit a solo home run to right that Oakland right fielder Josh Reddick nearly brought back into the park. Then in the eighth, Brian Bogusevic came up big with a two out hit that scored Dioner Navarro to give the Cubs a little insurance.
It was a little shaky for the AL West leading Athletics, they only managed four hits and one run which isn’t what manager Bob Melvin would like to see from his club on any night. The A’s were 0-5 with runners in scoring position as well, which isn’t going to cut it.
Starlin Castro seems to be figuring some things out at the plate, he had two hits in five trips last night. This is a good sign for Castro and the Cubs. He needs to get going a little bit after the horrendous June he had, in which he hit .167 for the month.
The Cubs and A’s will wrap up their three game set today with a pitching match-up that consists of, Dan Straily (4-2) for the A’s and Travis Wood (5-6) for the Cubs. Game time is scheduled for 3:05 PM CT.
Topics: Alfonso Soriano, Bartolo Colon, Bob Melvin, Brandon Moss, Brian Bogusevic, Chicago Cubs, Dan Straily, Dioner Navarro, Josh Reddick, Kevin Gregg, Luis Valbuena, Matt Garza, Oakland Athletics, Starlin Castro, Travis Wood