Both below .500, the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks could look to make some deals before the trading deadline at the end of this month. Chicago right-hander Matt Garza is among the players rumored to be on the trading block but he'll get at least one more start with his current club.
Garza will try to lead the Cubs to their first home sweep of Arizona in four years, their longest win streak at Wrigley Field since 2009 and a season high-tying fourth consecutive overall victory Sunday afternoon.
The Cubs (35-52) have won 11 of 15 and three in a row, but their focus is on the future and dealing away Garza (4-7, 4.32 ERA) might net the team some much-needed players.
Unlike teammate Ryan Dempster, the right-hander hasn't shined lately and gave up five runs over four innings during his most recent start, a 7-3 loss in Atlanta on July 5. He threw 44 of his 92 pitches during a four-run opening frame.
"(The trade rumors don't) affect what I do on the mound," Garza told the team's website. "I still have to grab the ball and throw it for strikes. Like I've said before, I've been in trade rumors since my pro career started. It's more frustrating to go out there and let your boys stand around for 50 pitches in an inning. That's not good for anybody."
Garza will seek a better performance against Arizona, which has produced one run and seven hits in each of the first two games of this series. The Diamondbacks (42-45) are also 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and got their only run during Saturday's 4-1 loss on a Chris Young homer.
Justin Upton, whose name has also been in trade rumors, is 0 for 6 in this series after going 7 for 15 (.467) in his final four games before the All-Star break.
"We scored two runs in Wrigley Field in two days," manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's not what we expect to do. We got to do better than that."
If it can keep Arizona's bats at bay again, Chicago has a chance to sweep the Diamondbacks at Wrigley for the first time since May 9-11, 2008. The Cubs also won three straight over Arizona from Aug. 17-19, 2010, in Phoenix.
Chicago is also seeking to match a six-game home win streak from June 18-July 3, 2009, and a string of four consecutive overall victories from June 29-July 2.
Trevor Cahill (7-7, 3.64) will try to prevent Chicago from accomplishing those goals and help his club avoid a season-high fifth consecutive road defeat. The right-hander gave up three runs - his fewest in four outings - over seven innings in his most recent start, a 5-3 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 7.
Cahill won his only matchup with the Cubs on June 15, 2010, at Wrigley while pitching for Oakland.
Garza is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 17 strikeouts in two starts against the Diamondbacks. He fanned seven over seven innings during a 5-1 loss in Phoenix on June 24.
Jason Kubel homered off Garza during that game but has been dealing with tightness in his right hamstring after slipping repeatedly on a wet field during an 8-1 loss in Friday's series opener.
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Matt Garza
- Wrigley Field