Rays’ Rearview Mirror: Garza Traded To Rangers, Makes Impressive First Start

By Jenna West

Matt Garza pitched an impressive 7.1 innings in his first start with the Rangers since being traded from the Cubs. Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With trade rumors growing over the past month, the Rangers finally acted on their desire to acquire Cubs pitcher Matt Garza Monday night.

Texas sent rookie right-hander Justin Grimm, top prospect third baseman Mike Olt and Class-A pitcher C.J. Edwards to Chicago in exchange for Garza, with one, maybe two more players to be named later.

On Wednesday night, Garza made his first start for the Rangers and immediately gave his team hope that he will lead them in their chase to make it to the playoffs.

Facing the New York Yankees in his new home, Garza pitched an impressive 7.1 innings, giving up five hits and one run. He also threw five strikeouts.

“He pounded the strike zone with a vengeance,” Texas’ manager Ron Washington told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “He’s a big-time pitcher, and that was a big-time performance.”

“We’re in the playoff hunt, aren’t we?” Garza joked with Sullivan.

“I’m excited … I couldn’t be happier playing where I am,” Garza said. “I love Texas. I don’t mind the heat. It’s awesome. I’ve been traded three times, so I just go out there and do my job and make these guys proud they got me.”

If Garza keeps performing the way he did Wednesday night, his new team will certainly be proud of him.

Texas is currently three games behind the first place Oakland A’s in the AL West standings.