We waited ten months to see Matt Garza take the mound for the Chicago Cubs, and he didn’t disappoint in his return. He pitched five shutout innings, didn’t allow a hit until the fifth and struck out five batters. He even had a two-run double in the second inning, which, for awhile, looked like the only runs the Cubs might need all night. What was it like to be back on the mound?
“I felt great out there,” Garza told reporters. “I had some butterflies and the first couple of innings flew by. I had to kind of stop myself at one point and just slow down, but it was fun. It was a long, long time and it’s nice to not only come back but pitch well. You don’t want to spend that much time working to get back and then pitch poorly.”
Dale Sveum was happy to see such a good performance from Garza as well.
“He was really good,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “He had a really good slider. His command, for it being his first time back, was outstanding. Even when he missed, he didn’t miss by much. His velocity was good, too, consistently at 93-94 (mph). He was just outstanding.”
The only bad thing was that Garza couldn’t stretch his 85-90 pitch count farther into the game. Unfortunately, the bullpen didn’t take long to undo Garza’s good work.
In the sixth inning, Rule 5 pitcher Hector Rondon gave up a leadoff double to Neil Walker, who later scored when lefty James Russell walked Pedro Alvarez with the bases loaded. Moments later, pinch-hitter Travis Snider crushed Shawn Camp’s changeup for a grand slam.