Pressure on Garza
The Rays have their backs against the wall and must now turn to Matt Garza to salvage a win and keep the series going. Garza is one of the toughest pitchers to figure out on the Rays staff. On some nights Garza is dominant, showing command of his fast ball and recording a no-hitter. At other times his emotions get the better of him, he loses command, and gets shelled. Let’s all hope that the good Garza shows up on Saturday.
Garza finished the season at 15-10 with an ERA of 3.91, he also gave up 28 home runs on the season (0-2 in the month of September). Garza made a name for himself with his no-hitter (first in franchise history) and has a dominant fastball with movement on it. But Garza is a very emotional pitcher and can get rattled easily. When Garza gives up a homerun, he often will get frustrated, trying to throw harder and loses command, leading to disaster. When Garza pitches with good emotions and is focused, he is tough to beat, but when rattled, he makes it so easy Pat Burrell could get a hit.
The playoff life of the Rays rest on the arm of Garza tomorrow in Arlington. The offense is scuffling right now and looking for answers, but the Texas Rangers are also scoring 11 runs in two games, the pitching has been bad (Price and Shields got roughed up). So while the offense is trying to remember their bats, Garza has to dominate in this game. He has said this is the point where the Rays will fight and come back, he needs to back up this claim or it could be a long flight back to Tampa.