Matt Garza has some fightin’ words for his former team. The right-hander doesn’t have any real grudge against the Cubs, as he previously stated that he enjoyed playing in Chicago, but vowed to try to “kick their teeth in” every time he’s on the hill for the Brewers against them.
Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“And I wish them the best,” he said. “But I like where I’m at, and I’m going to try to kick their teeth in every time I get a chance.”
Nothing personal. Mostly.
Garza has only made three starts against former teams. He handled the Twins well, but was shelled by the Rays.
- vs. Twins (2 starts): 14.0 IP, 4 ER, 15 K, 4 BB, 2 HR
- vs. Rays (1 start): 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
As Cubs are an NL Central rival, Garza should make two or three starts against them by the end of the regular season.
The Brewers signed Garza to a four-year, $50 million contract at the end of January. In two and a half seasons with the Cubs and a half-season with the Rangers, Garza posted an aggregate 3.62 ERA with 429 strikeouts in 457 innings. Now 30 years old, the Brewers are hoping Garza can continue pitching well — he has posted an ERA of 3.95 or lower in every single one of his full seasons in the big leagues.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.