Garza frustrated as rocky 1st continues struggles
CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Garza is off to a rough start after signing with the Milwaukee Brewers as a free agent in the offseason.
His frustration boiled over Saturday following a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Cubs when he was asked if he was, well, frustrated.
“Of course, I’m frustrated, man,” he said. “What do you think, I’m happy? It’s the worst freaking start of my career, dude. Yeah, I’m frustrated. I hate this, this feeling.”
Garza (2-4) actually had a decent outing, allowing three runs and four hits in seven innings. All the runs came in the first inning and he allowed just two base runners after that.
But that was enough to earn the right-hander the loss.
Edwin Jackson struck out 11 in seven innings and Welington Castillo hit a two-run double to lead the Cubs. Starlin Castro added an RBI double for the last-place Cubs, who won for the third time in 13 games.
“We got everything we needed in the first with two outs and Jackson threw a great seven innings of pitching and his slider was hard and sharp,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said.
Jackson (3-3) had his best outing for Chicago since signing a four-year, $52 million deal before the 2013 season. The right-hander allowed four hits and walked one. He struck out the side in the first and struck out Elian Herrera to end the fifth for his 10th strikeout.
He finished his outing by striking out Jeff Bianchi on a 95 mph fastball. Hector Rondon pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in as many opportunities.
“I’ve seen him like this before,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “He had good stuff today and he had good command with all his pitches. The slider is usually a good pitch for him and he spotted his fastball well in and out.”
Garza also had it going, although his dominance didn’t show on the scoreboard.
He pitched for the Cubs before being traded to the Texas Rangers last season, but said he wasn’t any more amped up because he was at Wrigley facing the Cubs.
“I told you guys the first time (in Milwaukee), it’s just another game,” he said. “It stinks the way it turned out, but there’s no more or less emotion. Every time I go out there I go out there the same way.
“The first inning was a hiccup. That’s kind of been what it’s been like all year. … I’m just going to keep grinding and keep working and keep going. It’s going to come together sooner or later.”
Leadoff hitter Carlos Gomez was a late scratch from the Brewers’ lineup because of lower back tightness. He was due back Saturday after serving a three-game suspension for his actions in a bench-clearing incident against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 20.
The Cubs didn’t waste any time testing Garza’s fielding ability. Emilio Bonifacio led off the first with a perfectly placed bunt that Garza wasn’t able to reach in time to have a chance to throw out Bonifacio at first. Bonifacio later scored on Castro’s double. With two outs, Castillo lined a double down the left field line to score Castro and Nate Schierholtz, who had walked, to take the 3-0 lead.
“He came out with good stuff today, I thought,” Roenicke said. “He got behind on Castro and left a 2-0 fastball up and out over the plate. And then the slider to Castillo, he tried to come in and left a slider in a good part of the plate.
“Besides that, he really threw the ball well.”
NOTES: Brewers RHP Jim Henderson (shoulder inflammation) is on the DL and scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday. He’s eligible to come off the DL Sunday, but no word when he might return. … Ryan Braun is playing with a right oblique strain and is less than 100 percent, but Roenicke said he likes having a limited Braun in the lineup because Aramis Ramirez (strained left hamstring) is out. “With Aramis now out of there, it would be really tough (playing without Braun). And Ryan, he’s good even when he’s not 100 percent,” Roenicke said. … Highly touted Cubs prospect Javier Baez is struggling in Triple-A Iowa. In 29 games, the shortstop is hitting .145 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. He’s also committed seven errors.