Garza threw 8.0 innings on the road in a losing effort — which still constitutes a “complete game” for some reason — allowing 4 runs, 8 hits and a walk, striking out 5 Athletics.
In 3 starts for the Rangers, Garza has logged 22.1 IP (7.44 IP/start) with 16 strikeouts, 4 bases on balls, and is sporting a 2.82 ERA. To be objective, which this author in particular can be nothing but when mathematics are involved, Matt’s adjusted FIP (xFIP) is 3.76, suggesting his Darvish-esque ERA should not hold up.
I acknowledge 3 starts is an insanely small sample, so small that drawing conclusions from the above paragraph is not recommended, but that’s also to say it’s plainly evident Matt Garza isn’t feeling any effects from transitioning into the stronger offensive league. You get the impression while he’s pitching, while he’s not pitching, that he wants this.
He is already ingratiated into a locker room full of winners, who know what winning is like, who function day-in day-out as a cohesive unit with the sole purpose of winning a World Series.
It can sound so simple, almost like I just made that all up, but it’s true. And more importantly, it’s pure, but only pure in a way that we could see coming years before, like the Rangers were our own, developing, baby.
But there’s a flip side to Matt Garza, and it’s not a road filled with bunny rabbits and rose petals.
Let’s face it, he’s a fiery dude. He’s got so much emotion for the game that if he played on any other team, I would dislike him, which most likely contributed to the tone I used in the days leading up to his arrival to Texas.
On Saturday afternoon, he took it to a different level, on Twitter, no less. I’ll be straight-up with you, I’m probably one of the worst storytellers in humanity, so if you have a particular fondness for reading up on some Ricki Lake shit, I suggest you click on the link in the first sentence, because Adam Morris tends to cover those issues more thoroughly. Or maybe you’ve already seen the .GIFs, and that’s cool, too.
Where do I stand? Well, who am I to begin with? That’s probably the more fair and appropriate question. But like everything else, I couldn’t care less about off-the-field drama unless it became detrimental to the Texas Rangers.
After all, I’m not in Matt Garza’s head. If he’s an ignorant human being, if that’s just who he is, then I hope he continues pitching his ass off for the 2(-plus?) months he’s here; if Jon Daniels and the player valuation department believe he’s worth as much money as he is assumed to command on the free agent market, then so be it.
But as far as passing judgement on another human being for his sometimes-questionable antics on the mound, I’m just not that guy. I care about on-field production, so if Matt Garza wants to be an asshole to the rest of the league, that’s fine, so long as he continues to pitch like a #3-plus.