Cubs GM Jed Hoyer not bothered by Matt Garza’s comments

Written By BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter Posted: 05/03/2014, 04:58pm

General manager Jed Hoyer responded to Matt Garza on Friday, hinting the former Cub’s advice to Jeff Samardzija last week to “pitch your way out of” Chicago was rooted in bruised feelings from last year’s trade.

Whether Garza minded leaving the 66-win Cubs for the 91-win Texas Rangers is debatable.

And Garza can speak about winning with authority now: The Milwaukee Brewers, whom he signed with in the offseason, lead the majors in victories.

“I feel like Garza got his payday, he’s on a team that’s winning and I guess he’s in a position right now to make comments,” Hoyer said before the Cubs’ 6-5 victory against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

“I think it’s on us now to flip that script and to show that we’re a place that people want to be, to show that we’re a winning organization.”

Winning their first series of the season would be a start.

“We have two cracks at it,” first baseman Anthony Rizzo said.

The Cubs blasted Adam Wainwright, who Rizzo called “the hottest pitcher in the league right now,” for six runs and 10 hits in a season-low five innings.

Wainwright hadn’t allowed a run in 25 innings, dating to April 12, also against the Cubs.

He has given up 12 runs all year — 10 to the Cubs.

“We were able to get to Wainwright early,” said winner Travis Wood, who allowed three runs, two earned, in seven innings. “And even in the middle. And then toward the end, as well.”

The Cubs scored twice before making an out.

They added three in the third, spurred by the second of Welington Castillo’s three doubles.

Rizzo hit a solo homer in the fifth and had three RBI.

And, perhaps most impressive, Hector Rondon earned a 1-2-3 save in the ninth. The team had one save chance in its previous 16 games, and that was the Wrigley 100th-anniversary debacle.

The win lifted the clubhouse, Rondon said, “and that’s a big thing for our team.”

Hoyer admitted the Cubs, for three years, have “kinda fallen on our face right out of the gate in April. . . .

“And it’s really been kinda ‘Groundhog Day.’ ’’

Garza’s comments “don’t really bother me,” Hoyer said. “I think being traded is a hard thing emotionally for people. Even in a situation like that, when we had a good relationship with him, I think there’s probably a feeling of rejection, for lack of a better word.

“I think that people say emotional things when asked about it because there’s probably some resentment they’re harboring. And that’s OK.”

The Cubs “have to deal with those comments,” he said.

“And I don’t feel like, until we’re winning, until we’ve proved that we’re an organization that he would want to play for . . . I don’t think that we can really comment on it.”

NOTES: Ryan Sweeney injured his right hamstring chasing a fly ball in the eighth inning and was scheduled for an MRI exam late Friday. Discussing a roster move “would be very speculative on my part,” manager Rick Renteria said.

◆ Former pitchers Kerry Wood and Ted Lilly are helping the Cubs scout for the draft in June and, Hoyer said, will be “in the draft room when we convene.”

Wood has visited Texas prep pitcher Tyler Kolek, a likely top-five pick.

“I think it was probably like watching himself in the mirror,” Hoyer said.

Jake Arrieta will make his first start Saturday after beginning the year on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness.


Twitter: @patrickfinley

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