Chicago (70-90) at San Diego (70-90)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Diego, CA
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Tue Sep 27, 2011
  • TV: CSN, Ch4
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Matt Garza(notes) has struggled at times during his first season with the Chicago Cubs, but that’s rarely happened since the All-Star break.

Garza tries for a career high-tying fourth consecutive win when he faces the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on Tuesday night.

Garza (9-10, 3.35 ERA), acquired from Tampa Bay during the offseason, entered the break with a 4-7 record and a 4.26 ERA. The right-hander has thrived since then, however, allowing no more than three earned runs in all but one of his 14 starts.

Garza, whose 2.44 ERA since the All-Star game ranks in the top 10 in the majors, is coming off back-to-back nine-inning efforts. He yielded three runs in a 4-3, 12-inning win over Houston on Sept. 16, then struck out 10 in a 7-1 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday.

“Garza is that pitcher you want on the mound every single day,” first baseman Carlos Pena told the Cubs’ official site. “When he has a season like this and has nine wins and has really done well, imagine if everything were to click and things go his way? In my mind, he’s a Cy Young pitcher waiting to happen.”

Garza has never pitched at Petco, but he’s 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two career outings against the Padres, striking out 14 in as many innings.

He went 4-0 over seven starts June 24-July 31 of last year.

The Padres (70-90) will give Anthony Bass(notes) (2-0, 1.66) another start after the rookie limited Colorado to two hits and a walk over five innings of a 4-0 road win Wednesday. The 23-year-old right-hander had been used exclusively out of the bullpen since being recalled from Double-A San Antonio on June 26.

“We really like the development that has taken place in the big leagues,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official website. “We’ve seen a lot of strides with his delivery, his ball-strike ratio. Hopefully this is a great springboard for him.”

Bass seems to have a favorable matchup against a Cubs team that has batted .138 while totaling three runs during a three-game losing streak. Chicago (70-90) was shut out for the 10th time this season Monday, 2-0.

Manager Mike Quade went with a lineup full of young players, as Tony Campana(notes) led off, DJ LeMahieu(notes) started at third base and catcher Steve Clevenger(notes) made his big league debut.

“People can disagree with me - that’s fine,” Quade said. “As far as us evaluating people and what they’re best suited to do at this point in their career, so much of that plays into (the lineup decision), and also the performance and effort we’ve gotten from guys who have been here all year. There’s a lot that goes into it.

“I believe we’ve done the right thing here. We’ve handed some people opportunities. I think they’ll all be better for that.”

Starlin Castro(notes) singled Monday to extend his career-best run of reaching base to 38 straight games. The 21-year-old shortstop is all but certain to become the youngest player to lead the NL in hits - his 204 are 12 more than Los Angeles center fielder Matt Kemp’s(notes) total.

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Starting Pitchers

M. Garza Mil vs. A. Bass Tex
10-10 Record 2-0
3.32 ERA 1.68
197 K 24
63 BB 21
1.26 WHIP 1.28


Tuesday, Sep 27