Monday, July 26, 2010
Congrats to Garza
Well done, Mr Garza. He's always had electric "stuff" nice to see him keep his head in the game long enough to close it out. Also, glad to see that ESPN set the record for number of times saying the word "no-hitter" during an actual no-hitter.
My five seconds with Matt Garza happened during the 2008 Spring Training. I was standing alongside one of the practice fields while he was making his way through the crowd signing autographs. Okay, it wasn't a crowd, it was like 10 people. Remember they hadn't transformed into the good Rays yet.
I offered him up a 2008 Topps to sign and he looked at it and said, "Yeah they took this right after I got my haircut." Ummm okay. It was an action shot of him pitching in a Twins road uniform. He chuckled signed the card and moved on.
Ever since he came to Tampa Bay he's been a bit of enigmatic wunderkind. From getting into a shouting match with Dionar Navarro on the mound to being named the ALCS MVP he's bounced all over the spectrum.
When Garza starts a game there is only one thing that is certain. He will spit. A lot. Other than that it's up in the air. He could throw 8 shut out innings or throw a hundred and twenty pitches by the fifth.
Despite a career high ERA (4.36 going into tonight's game) he's enjoying his best year in terms of winning. His 10 wins is only one off of his career high, and represent almost 30% of his career wins.
Perhaps he is starting to harness the movement that makes his pitches so hard to hit. His walks per nine winnings and his strikeouts per nine innings are both down while his WHIP is up. To me that represents more balls being put into play, which leads to fewer pitches per inning and he can last longer in the games. To point he has gone 6 or more innings in 13 of 19 starts before tonight. The no hitter makes it 14 out of 20, which my basic math puts at 70%.
Perhaps we are witnessing the coming of age of talented, but eccentric young pitcher. Bonus question for those of you still paying attention. Has any team been involved in 3 no-hitters or more in one season?