CHICAGO – Cubs notes from Aug. 2.
The New York Mets come to town today, and before they leave after Sunday night’s series finale, the Cubs’ Cliff Floyd will give his former Mets teammate Tom Glavine a gift.
Floyd hopes Glavine won’t need to open it until after the Mets leave town.
The former Thornwood High School standout is giving Glavine a “surprise” for when the left-hander gets his 300th career win. Despite a little prodding from the Daily Southtown, Floyd wouldn’t reveal what it is.
Glavine will attempt to get the milestone win Sunday night at Wrigley Field in a nationally televised game.
“I got him a little something special if he gets it (No. 300),” Floyd said of Glavine, his teammate in New York from 2003-06. “I hope he doesn’t get against us. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It’s a double-edged sword. I want him to succeed. But I’ll just give him his gift and he can open it when he leaves.”
Floyd is big fan of Glavine’s.
“When I first met him, he was cool,” Floyd said. “He treats everyone the same — if you’re a rookie or a 12-year guy, he respects you the same. To me, that goes a long way. I had 13 years in — not that I expected him to treat me any different. But I saw how he treated the young guys, and it’s pretty awesome.”
Wrigley Field has never been the site of game in which a pitcher gained his 300th victory.
Roger Clemens was in a position to do it June 7, 2003, when he was with the Yankees, but he lost to Kerry Wood.
On Aug. 1, 2004, Greg Maddux, in his second stint with the Cubs, had a chance to win No. 300 at home. He did not get a decision in what turned out to be a 6-3 come-from-behind Cubs victory over Philadelphia. Six days later, Maddux reached the milestone, in San Francisco.
Former Notre Dame two-sport star Jeff Samardzija was promoted from Class A Daytona to Double-A West Tenn.
Samardzija, who opted for baseball over football, had some so-so raw numbers at Daytona, going 3-8 with a 4.95 ERA in 24 games (20 starts). He had 35 walks and 45 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings.
Why is he getting moved up?
“He’s progressing in several areas,” Cubs farm director Oneri Fleita said. “His percentage of strikes has gone up every month. His percentage of first-pitch strikes as well. And he’s been getting hitters out in less than four pitches more. We really feel he’s pitching better than his numbers indicate.
“We feel like he’s ready for the challenge (of Double A) in what’s been a really good year. I’ve seen him four times this year, and if you’ve seen him from start to finish, he’s a pitcher now. He’s trying to pitch. He’s talking about how to get hitters out. He’s talking about reading hitters’ swings. We’ve been able to see steady progress throughout the year.”
Catcher Henry Blanco, who has a sore left shoulder to go with a herniated disc in his neck, has been taken off his rehab assignment after spending a week with Class A Peoria.
Blanco could stay away from game duty for a week or two but will continue to practice with the Cubs until he shakes off the shoulder problem.
The four-game Cubs-Phillies series drew 163,727 fans, a Wrigley Field record for a four-game set. That beat out the four-game total of 161,374, set July 16-19 vs. Barry Bonds and the Giants.
The record could get a stern test Aug. 17-20, when St. Louis comes to town for four games.
Wood will be activated today. Rocky Cherry, who threw 2 1/3 shutout innings Thursday, was sent to Triple-A Iowa after the game.
More Cubs coverage is at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.