Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Matt Garza kept the game plan on Thursday which meant he threw Arizona Diamondback hitters off-speed pitch after off-speed pitch.
Garza allowed five hits and four runs including one home run during his 3 1/3 innings of work in an 8-5 win by the Brewers. The results were not what talented right-hander like Garza would want during the regular season.
He called his outing frustrating because he wants to see results right away but must stick to the game plan. He added that he could have used his fast ball through the entire Arizona lineup but that would not follow along with his coach’s game plan.
Instead, Garza continues to find the feel for his changeup and slider.
Garza added that during his pro career he cannot remember ever throwing consecutive changeups in any game, but in the game on Thursday there were eight sequences in which consecutive changeups were thrown.
The 33-year old will enter his last year of a four-year $50 million contract with the Brewers in April when the regular season begins. In 72 games with Milwaukee, Garza is 20-30 with an ERA of 4.57.
The last two seasons for the right-hander were disappointing. He started 2015 injured and did not make his first appearance until June 14. He finished the season 6-8 with an ERA of 4.51 across just 19 starts. In 2016, Garza was 6-14 with an ERA of 5.63.
Garza, who in 2010 was a 15-game winner for Tampa Bay, has a no-hitter to his credit and started in 2008 in a World Series game with Tampa Bay.
Thus far through four starts during spring training, Garza has an ERA of 8.31, giving up 8 runs, 14 hits and 4 walks with no strikeouts.
He says he knows how to get outs however, now it is all about applying his other stuff such as changeups and sliders.
Craig Counsell the manager for Milwaukee believes the things Garza is doing at this time will pay dividends during the regular season.
Counsell said the tough part of putting this type of game plan into action is when a pitcher is out competing it is tough to stick to something and attempt to improve so it can be used during the regular season.
Counsell added that Garza will need to throw a breaking ball as a first pitch and a slider when 2-0 and practicing on that now will make it easier when the games count.