CHICAGO -- First-year Cub Matt Garza thought he was simply getting hit, not taking into account the flags atop the Wrigley Field scoreboard.
He gave up five runs, including two homers, in the first three innings of the Cubs' 12-7 win over the Brewers on Thursday.
"At first, I didn't know the ball was flying out," Garza said. "I thought they were hitting the ball really well. And then I come in and [catcher] George [Kottaras] hit the ball out, and I thought that was just a popup, the ball kept carrying. So I came in [to the dugout] and said, 'The ball's flying out today, huh?' They said, 'Yeah, try to keep it down a little bit.'"
Garza is still learning the elements at Wrigley, where the wind was blowing out to right field Thursday.
Luckily for the right-hander, the Cubs' offense answered in each of the first three innings off Zack Greinke, and they kept it going throughout the game.
After the shaky start, Garza pitched three scoreless innings and gave up one hit.
"I settled down after the third inning," he said. "It was a little crazy, a little nuts those first few innings. I don't think [Greinke] expected it to go like this either. I faced him multiple times in the AL, and I've never seen anything like that. Hats off to the offense. They helped me by picking me up every inning."
"The guy's never pitched here on a day like that," manager Mike Quade said. "For Garza to grind like that and keep working and settle down and give us three scoreless after a rough first three, that's what you're looking for."
Pena, Soriano unhappy about Jeter's injury
CHICAGO -- When the Yankees come to Wrigley Field for an Interleague series, starting Friday, Derek Jeter will not be in the lineup, his pursuit of 3,000 hits on hold because of a calf injury. He's at 2,994 career hits.
"As a fan and a colleague and as much respect as I have for Jeter, we want him to get 3,000," Cubs first baseman Carlos Pena said. "We just don't want it to happen against us. We don't like the fact he's hurt -- we don't wish that on anybody. If he came here and had a couple hits short of 3,000, we would've done everything in our power to stop him. But what a great feat for a professional.
"Too bad he won't be around so we can give him congrats in person," Pena said of Jeter, who is expected to rehab in Tampa. "He's not only a great ballplayer but a gentleman on and off the field and a great dude."
Alfonso Soriano and Jeter were teammates, and Soriano had hoped the shortstop would come to Wrigley.
"I'm not happy my boy's not playing," Soriano said. "I was hoping he could have 2,999 hits and get 3,000 here and I can see it. I wanted to see 3,000 here in Chicago. Now I just have to see it on TV."
Jeter and Soriano were together in the middle of the Yankees infield from 1999-2003.
"He helped me a lot," Soriano said. "He was my model to watch. It's very exciting to see him play. He likes to win, play hard."
For trivia fans, the only player to collect his 3,000th hit at Wrigley Field was Stan Musial, who did so in a pinch-hit at-bat on May 13, 1958, off Cubs pitcher Moe Drabowsky.
Quade up for challenge in date with Yankees
CHICAGO -- The Yankees come to Wrigley Field this weekend for an Interleague series, and Cubs manager Mike Quade knows all about them, having faced the New York team while a coach on the Athletics' staff from 2000-02.
"I got tired of hearing ['Enter Sandman'] every time Mariano [Rivera] would come in," Quade said Thursday. "It's another historic franchise, similar to the Boston situation. We have ties with their pitching coach because Larry [Rothschild] and I are close. I don't know [Joe] Girardi.
"It'll be a fun weekend and a heck of a challenge. Any time you go up against a franchise that's had their kind of success and their kind of history and given the history of this place, that's how it should be."
The Cubs played the Red Sox at Fenway Park in May. They still have Interleague games coming up against the White Sox, playing a series at U.S. Cellular Field from June 20-22 and at Wrigley from July 1-3, as well as a trip to Kansas City to face the Royals from June 24-26.
First, the Yankees. The Cubs are 2-4 in Interleague Play against them, last meeting in 2005. New York ranks first in the American League in home runs and sixth in batting.
"It's a challenge in general for the club but extremely challenging for pitchers to grind through those kind of lineups," Quade said. "[Randy] Wells and [Ryan Dempster] will have their work cut out for them."
Doug Davis opens the series on Friday against Freddy Garcia, Dempster faces A.J. Burnett on Saturday and Wells goes against CC Sabathia on Sunday.
"I think fans will enjoy it because of the magnitude of the matchup," Carlos Pena said. "At the same time, instead of trying to make it bigger than it is or buying into the hype, we have to do the opposite and slow it down. For us, it's just another game. Having said that, we still have to prepare and do what we do."
Upbeat Quade grateful for Ricketts' support
CHICAGO -- Mike Quade didn't have a chance to read about Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts giving him a vote of confidence on Wednesday. Quade was busy prepping for Thursday's game.
Quade said he appreciated Ricketts' support.
"It has been a tough run, and we all know that," Quade said. "It's always nice to have your people on board. I appreciate everything, and Tom Ricketts is running a [heck] of an organization, and that's nice to hear."
Quade was prepared for any criticism he might receive after the Cubs' dismal 2-8 road trip to St. Louis, Cincinnati and Philadelphia. He just hasn't heard much.
"I don't even know probably 80 percent of the criticism out there," Quade said. "I answer questions [the media] asks, I have reasons for what I do and I go about my business accordingly. You understand that taking this job, it's part of it.
"You also understand when things are going rough it'll be multiplied as well. I made a commitment to come here with a job to do and be upbeat every day and go through the tough times, and I've been true to that. Criticism or whatever, that comes with the territory. That's why I'm here every day answering whatever you guys have for me."
Young LeMahieu demonstrating versatility
CHICAGO -- One of the highlights from Wednesday's 9-5 loss to the Brewers was rookie DJ LeMahieu's perfectly aimed relay throw to get Rickie Weeks in the third inning.
"He's a real nice defensive guy with some versatility," Cubs manager Mike Quade said of the infielder.
LeMahieu has started at first, second and third, and the start at first was his first. He didn't really start working out there until joining the Cubs. With Darwin Barney on the disabled list, LeMahieu also is the backup at shortstop.
"He's like any other young guy -- he just wants to play," Quade said.
One thing the Cubs recognize is LeMahieu does need to play every day, but Quade also has Blake DeWitt and Jeff Baker as options in the infield.
"There's too many guys on this club who have earned the right to get in the lineup," Quade said, commending DeWitt for subbing in left field while Alfonso Soriano was sidelined.
"There's going to be a lot of moving around," Quade said. "As excited as you might be for a kid like DJ, these other guys have done a good job, too. He needs to play, period, whether it's here or wherever, and we're going to see how this plays out in the next week or so."
Because of the injuries, the Cubs have several young players now on the roster. The lessons never stop.
"I like teaching, I believe we're sending the right messages," Quade said. "I can't remember doing this much early work with a club, but we need to. We hope and expect to see results."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter@CarrieMuskat. Alex Ruppenthal is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.