What’s up with Matt Garza?


Garza has yet to look like his old self. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When the Milwaukee Brewers signed Matt Garza back in January, the expectation was that he would vastly improve the starting rotation. Garza has yet to fulfill that role and maybe it’ll be a matter of time until he does.

Until then, Garza has to try and break of this funk he finds himself in.

Garza has had some quality starts along the way, namely his first outing of the season where he pitched eight innings of one-run ball against the Atlanta Braves. Since then, Garza has struggled and fortunately the rest of the rotation has been solid enough to pick up his slack. In the same regard, nobody expected Garza to become an ace pitcher of the staff, but some were hoping that he would look like the guy the Brewers signed for $52 million over four years.

Aside from his shellacking in St. Louis on April 30 where he surrendered five runs in only three innings, there’s another start that comes to mind. Last Sunday, Garza made the start against the New York Yankees and from the get-go, he looked off. He had a forty pitch first inning in which he surrendered three runs. After that, he stabilized and worked a total of five innings that day. Still though, forty pitches in one inning? Yikes.

If anything, Garza looks like the 2013 version of Yovani Gallardo out there. You know he has the stuff to devastate hitters, but at the same time, he’s racking up such a high pitch count early on that he sometimes barely makes it into the seventh inning. However, today’s start against the Chicago Cubs, while a quality start, he still lost as he gave up three runs in seven innings.

His 4.83 ERA is not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Hopefully things can turn around as it is still early in the season, but only twice in his nine starts so far has he allowed two runs or less. That’s not exactly a great trend for a guy that was by far one of Milwaukee’s biggest investments.

The hope is that Garza can at least step up and have some really tremendous back-to-back outings. His problem is getting past that first inning where he seems to struggle. If he can conquer that, then the Brewers will really be a tough opponent every time out. Of course, Garza also hasn’t had much support from his offense, another area where the Brewers are scuffling.

That aside, Garza really needs to figure out what’s going on here. Opponents are hitting a mild .254 against him, while lefties in particular are hitting a brisk .282/.386/.447 off of him. Only time will tell how and if Garza can rebound from this, because the Brewers might really need to depend on his arm later on this season if things go haywire.