With Matt Garza making his first rehab start today in Double A Tennessee, Scott Feldman got the start for the Cubs Wednesday night as he is fighting to keep his spot in the starting rotation. If Garza remains on schedule, he should return to the big leagues around late May or early June. When that happens, the Cubs will have to send someone to the bullpen. Feldman made his case to remain a starter after his strong start tonight.
After getting off to a rocky start this season, Feldman has been improving with each start over the last few weeks. Tonight was by far his best outing of the year as he pitched his first career complete game. He was dominate from the start and was able to pitch with a lead due to a big offensive night for the Cubs. Feldman did not give up any runs until late in the game when he allowed two solo homers when the Cubs already had a very comfortable lead. Feldman also had a career high 12 strikeouts, while allowing just three hits.
The Cubs offense started right where they left on Tuesday when the scored seven runs in a 13-7 loss. Manager Dale Sveum switched the lineup up by giving Soriano the day off, putting Bourbon in the two hole, Valbuena third, Rizzo fourth, and Castro fifth. The move paid off as the Cubs combined for nine hits, including two each by David DeJesus and Castro. Castro who has been struggling had a two run single to get the scoring started. Feldman also helped his own cause at the plate with a RBI double in the second. Nate Schierholtz and Dioner Navarro also had RBI doubles of their own.
As mentioned before, Garza made his first rehab start today. He was able to pitch two and two thirds and allowed one run on just one hit. After the game, Garza added that he was feeling great. Very encouraging news as the Cubs need him to return as warm weather approaches.
Wednesday night’s victory guarantees the Cubs at least a spilt in the four game set with the San Diego Padres. If they can get the victory Thursday afternoon, it will be their second consecutive four game series win. After a rough stretch in mid April, the Cubs have won five of their last seven and are now five games under .500.
First pitch tomorrow is set for 1:20 P.M.