Rapid Reaction: Cubs 3, Dbacks 1
CHICAGO -- The Cubs won their sixth consecutive home game and pulled off a second consecutive sweep at Wrigley Field on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
How it happened: Like Paul Maholm and Ryan Dempster before him, Matt Garza kept the Diamondbacks offense in check. The right-hander, who could end up being traded by the end of the month, didn’t give up a run over seven innings and had seven strikeouts. Darwin Barney hit a two-run home run in the second inning. Anthony Rizzo, continuing his solid play since being recalled June 26, drove home the first run of the day on a single in the first inning. The Cubs won for the 12th time in their last 16 games.
What it means: Garza’s 4.02 ERA and 5-7 record don’t suggest a dominating season, but it would be interesting to see what things would have looked like had he been given just a little run support. With three runs by the second inning Sunday, Garza already had more support than he had in 10 of his previous 16 outings this season. The run-support issue could help explain why he said earlier this season that he would pitch anywhere, even the moon, when asked if he wanted to be a part of the Cubs’ rebuilding process.
Outside the box: Barney’s home run was his first since May 30 against the San Diego Padres and gave him four this season in 85 games. Before this season, Barney had two career home runs and hit those in 173 games. He hit 11 home runs in 427 minor league games.
Off beat: The three Cubs starters in the series combined to give up one run over 20 innings. Paul Maholm gave up the lone score in Friday’s game. Dempster (six innings) and Garza (seven) had scoreless outings. The solid starting pitching helps not only to understand why the Cubs have undergone a resurgence of late, but also why they are fielding trade calls and will continue to do so until the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of the month.
Up next: After an off day Monday, the Cubs will open a three-game series against Miami on Tuesday with left-hander Travis Wood (4-3, 3.05 ERA) facing off against Marlins right-hander Anibal Sanchez (4-6, 4.12) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.