Marlins tee off on Garza

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Marlins tee off on Garza

MIAMI Matt Garza walked off the mound shaking his head, and it looked like he had some words for home-plate umpire Brian ONora. He disappeared into a tunnel leading out of the dugout.

I always say something on my way out, Garza said, good or bad.

Marlins Park is loud, flashy and unpredictable, and that might as well describe Garzas personality. Its early reputation for being a pitchers park couldnt stop the two balls crushed by Donnie Murphy and Hanley Ramirez.

Those two two-run homers set off the flashing lights and water works on the pop-art sculpture that reportedly cost 2.5 million.

Chairman Tom Ricketts and several other high-level Cubs executives toured the futuristic stadium on Wednesday, and they watched their team get dismantled during a 9-1 loss in front of 25,723 fans.

Garza wanted two pitches back, the 93 mph fastball Murphy lifted over the left-field wall, and the Frisbee slider Ramirez hammered to left-center. You couldnt blame him if he felt like he had to be perfect.

If I start being perfect, its going to turn into one big old circus, Garza said, trying to dot every i and cross every t. So Im just going to keep doing what Ive been doing my whole career, and thats keep going after the next one, keep getting ready and hit that pavement and grindstone. Lets go.

This guaranteed the Cubs (3-9) will lose their first four series of the year, and there are warning signs all around. Theyve scored more than four runs only three times this season. Marlon Byrd is hitting .081 (3-for-37). The bullpen is waiting to see how Kerry Woods right shoulder responds to a cortisone injection.

Were not giving them much of a lead (or) scoring any runs, manager Dale Sveum said. So its tough for the starting pitchers to just know that they have to be perfect all the time.

Garza (1-1, 3.66 ERA) was pulled after five-plus innings and was charged with six runs. He had failed to execute a sacrifice bunt earlier and grabbed a bat.

Sveum had trouble suppressing a smile: He thought he was going to hit. He was going to get some swings down in the tunnel. We got a little tee and the net down there.

Garza said: Yeah, I wanted to go square up in the mirror and just kind of see where I was at in the stance, stuff like that.

Whether the Cubs admit it or not, the frustration level has to be rising.

Mark Buehrle, whos spent almost his entire life in the Midwest, doesnt exactly scream South Beach. But the Marlins gave him a four-year, 58 million contract to reunite with Ozzie Guillen and recreate some of the World Series magic they discovered with the 2005 White Sox.

Garza couldnt match Buehrle (1-2, 2.66), who sliced through the Cubs lineup, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out five while walking none, taking advantage of a team thats overanxious.

He had his A-game, utility man Jeff Baker said. Guys are busting their tail in the cage. We have an approach. Were just not executing right now. Unfortunately, thats the way it goes. Sometimes when you try to get on the gas a little more and go harder, harder, harder, it gets worse. Hopefully, guys will just relax and we can have better at-bats when we need to have em.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Toews still out, Bulls pull out win over Spurs

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Toews still out, Bulls pull out win over Spurs

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Mark Grote (670 The Score) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) join Kap on the panel. Jonathan Toews is still not back at practice. Is it time to panic?

Meanwhile, the Bulls beat the Spurs. And Rajon Rondo compliments the coaches? Is all well in Bulls-town?

Plus, Dexter Fowler is Cardinal. Should Cubs fans be angry?

And finally, is it good idea for Jordan Howard to get the ball less for the rest of the season?

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below: 

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

Lucas Giolito striving to contribute to White Sox 'as soon as possible'

At one point, it was looking like Lucas Giolito could be headed to the White Sox in exchange for Chris Sale.

But when Sale was dealt to the Boston Red Sox, Giolito's name was in the clear of rumors — until 29 hours later, when the Nationals' top prospect would be headed to Chicago in a different trade, which sent outfielder Adam Eaton to Washington.

“It’s kind of like the world we live in now. Social media is always out there and everything is on Twitter,” Giolito said in a conference call Friday. “I saw my name being mentioned on Twitter for Chris Sale. I know with the winter meetings all sorts of stuff being thrown around. I was just trying to focus on what I’m doing in this offseason which is lifting and all my workouts. Kind of just whatever happens, happens. 

“It’s funny that Sale ended up going to the Red Sox and something else happens that I’m going to the White Sox now with a couple teammates. It’s really interesting stuff but I’m super excited.”

The move for Rick Hahn & Co. to acquire Giolito was the second major trade to begin the White Sox rebuilding process. But Giolito didn't come alone.

In addition, the White Sox received Reynaldo Lopez — who Giolito has played with since 2014 — and the Nationals' 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning.

"I definitely think it’s amazing to be coming over to the White Sox with a bunch of young talent," Giolito said. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to all develop and get better and hopefully put a really good team together in Chicago. Definitely excited to be coming over with a couple guys from my previous organization."

[MORE: Rick Hahn, White Sox prepared to make more 'painful decisions' if the price is right]

Giolito went 6-5 with a 2.97 ERA and 1.28 WHIP across three minor-league levels this past season. He admitted his mechanics weren't quite in sync and is looking to improve on that.

"Sometimes things get out of whack. I believe I let too much get out of whack last year," Giolito said. "So this year with my training program I have in this offseason — lifting and Pilates and everything — I’m just trying to make sure that I can stay as athletic as possible so I’m able to repeat the right delivery more often. Once I start playing catch and doing bullpens and everything these next few weeks, right before spring training, I’m going to make sure I put that all together so I can repeat my delivery as best as possible."

His struggles continued when he got to The Show.

In his major-league debut on June 28, Giolito held the New York Mets to just one hit over four scoreless innings before a rain delay cut his night short. That turned out to be his most effective outing of the season as he finished the year with an 0-1 record, 6.75 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in six games with the Nationals, four of them being starts.

"(My MLB debut) didn’t go as well as I would’ve liked it to go, obviously, as you look at the numbers and everything," he said, "but I feel that with the White Sox now (and) getting traded and everything, it’s kind of like a fresh opportunity and a new start to get up to the big leagues again and contribute and do everything I can to stay there as well."

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Despite his low numbers, the 22-year-old Giolito believes he's ready to play on the White Sox main roster as soon as next season.

"I’ve had some experience in the big leagues last year," Giolito said. "Especially last year, I took a lot positives away because I did experience such a good amount of failure in a lot of I’d say like hardship when I made it up and didn’t perform up to what I believe is my best capabilities.

"I’ve pitched a good amount of innings in the minor leagues and I’ve had a little experience in the big leagues so I’m just really looking forward to making it up in the big leagues with the White Sox and contributing as soon as possible."