Together, C.J. Wilson (15-6) and Matt Garza (3-3) both exemplified their overrated-ness on Friday night, but it was the Angels offense that scraped off enough runs to defeat the Rangers, 6-5. Hand Wilson the win, give Garza the loss, then slap yourself for actually putting yourself through 9 innings of such torture. Yuck.
For almost every start Matt Garza has delivered for the Rangers upon arrival, I could reference this post I produced back on July 24th, titled “In An Attempt To Understand The Matt Garza Infatuation”:
I don’t think there’s much doubt that Matt’s early success in Tampa has influenced the false perception that he’s a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. After all, he was solid, he was pitching for a playoff team, and that team had a bunch of other stud pitchers. Transitive property implied that he was great.
On Friday night, Mr. Garza — “The Count,” or whatever the hell you wanna call him — allowed 6 runs (5 earned) on 9 hits, driving his ERA with the Rangers up to 4.31. It is the 3rd time in 9 American League starts he has surrendered at least 5 runs, and the 6th time he has given up at least 4. If you were hoping (as I was hoping) that Jon Daniels had, in some way, foreseen something most other general managers had not vis a vis Matt Garza, then you (and I) have been sorely mistaken. He is what he is, which is exactly what we thought he was.
If this happens to come off as an article resembling the author shitting on a particular player, you would be absolutely correct with such an assumption. Matt Garza has not been even remotely effective during his tenure with the Rangers, and there’s nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade.
The unfortunate part is, if some no-name writer of some makeshift blog can predict such ineffectiveness, then how could the Rangers organization — run by some of the sharpest tools in MLB’s shed — have been so gung-ho about ascertaining his services?
This is a question I believe many Rangers fans will be asking themselves in the coming years, as players like Mike Olt, Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards should each be performing at some capacity in the major leagues over the next few seasons. And they were all given up for two months of a middling, overrated starting pitcher.
Though, perhaps, this is all an emotional overreaction to another poor outing on Friday night. Maybe Matt Garza will pitch like an ace over the next 3 weeks. Maybe, just maybe, the Rangers will win the West, make it to the ALDS (and beyond), and Garza will perform like the stud we were promised before the 2013 trade deadline. Citing small sample size, maybe he’s just fooling everyone right now, and hasn’t fully kicked it into the perceived gear people think he has.
If that’s the case, I will be the first person to tell you how wrong I am, how I’m the biggest Matt Garza fan on the planet, and, fuck it, just give him his 6 years and $100 million when the offseason begins.
By now, I think you know just how farfetched that sounds. But for the sake of objectivity, let’s assume such an outlandish scenario actually exists, because this is baseball, and nothing is set in stone.
As it stands, the Rangers are currently strapped with a rotation featuring Garza, Yu Darvish (who is still great, contrary to popular D-FW opinion), Derek Holland, Martin Perez, and some form of a 5th starter. All told, it’s still a core of arms that can take this team to an AL West title.
With the Athletics victory over the Astros, Oakland currently leads the division by a half-game, though Texas is even with them in the loss column. That’s what we should be focusing on.
Tomorrow the Rangers have Derek Holland (9-7, 3.68 xFIP) opposing Garrett Richards (5-6, 3.57 xFIP), and on Sunday I’ll be in Anaheim for Nick Tepesch‘s (4-6, 3.70 xFIP) start against Jason Vargas (8-6, 4.39 xFIP).
Go Rangers, I guess.