Congrats to Matt Garza – who put the many distractions aside and kept his composure in picking up his 10th win of the season in last night’s 6-2 win over the Padres. As usual, it wasn’t easy and he almost didn’t get that double-digit victory.
Garza threw 122 pitches in 7 innings, giving up just 2 ER on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8, but left the game trailing 2-1 as the game entered the 8th inning. Fortunately, the Cubs bats rallied in the top of the 8th. Two walks put the go ahead runs on base and then Alfonso Soriano delivered his 26th HR of the season, a 3-run shot that gave the Cubs a 4-2 lead. And when Blake DeWitt knocked in 2 insurance runs with a single in the 9th, it secured Garza’s 10th win of the season. Garza has been the lone bright spot in the Cubs 2011 starting rotation. Garza made 31 starts, going 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. He He led the team in wins, ERA and strikeouts (197). His 1.26 WHIP was also the best among starters. Ryan Dempster was #2 in each of those categories. Garza turns 28 in November, so he should be a fixture atop the Cubs starting rotation for years to come (assuming they sign him to along-term deal at some point in the near future – maybe even extending him this off-season). Garza should have won a lot more games too. He lost 5 times when he gave up 3 ER or less. He also would have had 2 more wins if not for blown saves. Given those stats, Garza had more of a 15-win season, than a 10-win season.
Here’s looking forward to the new Cubs GM making extending Garza to a long-term deal a high priority in his early tenure. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything.