Matt Garza did not know exactly where he was going to end up this past offseason, but when he signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, it made sense. The Brewers needed another strong arm and Garza needed a team that would pay him what he wanted.
Garza made his first start for the Brewers against the Atlanta Braves and showed why he is exactly the horse the team needed despite a 1-0 loss at Miller Park on Wednesday. Garza looked dialed in right from the first pitch as he sat down the side in order and registered two strikeouts. He took a no-hitter into the seventh, but Chris Johnson smoked a home run to break up the bid and a scoreless game. Despite that, Garza still had a terrific outing. He went eight innings, allowed one earned run on two hits and one walk with seven strikeouts. His counterpart Aaron Harang picked up the victory for the Braves as he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings with two hits, one walk and a trio of Ks.
Garza has many strengths and eating up innings might be his greatest. Obviously having a pitcher who is going to go out the mound and rack up at least six or seven innings every start is an extremely valuable asset.
The Brewers are considered a dark horse contender for at least a National League wild card spot, and the addition of Garza definitely factors into that equation. Garza started last season on the disabled list and no one is invincible, but since 2008, the righty has started at least 24 games six times and started at least 30 games four times.
If Garza can continue with that trend and anchor down the middle of an already strong rotation that includes Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada, the Brewers could make September very interesting.