GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Just because Matt Garza’s spring results have been nondescript doesn’t mean he hasn’t had the opportunity to inspire.
Take his effort on the second inning for instance. Backing up a play in front of the Cincinnati Reds’ dugout Tuesday Garza laid out on his stomach to make sure he prevented an overthrow from going out of play.
Never mind that he didn’t have to do it. The netting in front of the dugout would have stopped the ball.
“Oh man, that was awesome,” Garza said in jest. “I didn’t know where I was along the dugout. I thought I was where the stairs were so that’s why I made the play. I turned around and go ‘[Darn] it,’ because I could have let that thing hit the fence. The dirt was hard. I got a little cut up but I’d rather do that than risk the chance of the ball going in the dugout and giving them a couple of extra runs.”
Other than the mini dive for the errant throw, Garza was not exactly precise. He lasted two batters into the fifth inning because he was already at the 80-pitch mark. But when he exited he still hadn’t allowed a run. The Reds pushed across Garza’s two base runners against reliever Shawn Camp.
Garza gave up his two runs on seven hits with three walks and six strikeouts in his four-plus innings. He hasn’t dominated in any outing and has allowed runs in every appearance this spring, but isn’t worried about it.
“It’s coming along,” he said. “I think I have more innings than I did last year so that’s a plus. Other than that, I’m kind of just nitpicking a little bit around the zone. I’m probably trying to test my boundaries on my stuff right now and go from there.”