Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Garza finishes strong with 10th win
By Bruce Levine
The Chicago Cubs traded five outstanding players from their farm system for Matt Garza last winter, and in Game 161, Garza proved his worth once again.
Count manager Mike Quade among those who feel the heavy price the Cubs paid in prospects was certainly worth it.
"Sure," Quade said. "Because he's a good pitcher. I was real fond of a lot of those kids that left, but we got a quality pitcher in return. And for as tough a season as it's been at times, where in the hell would we have been without him?"
Cubs starter Matt Garza allowed two runs in seven innings to beat the Padres on Tuesday.
Garza ended the season with 198 innings pitched and 197 strikeouts with a 3.32 ERA. There's no question he should have won 17 or 18 games. His teammates blew seven games after Garza left with a lead in 2011.
His other numbers on the season surpassed what he did in 2010 in Tampa, except for the 15 wins, as he earned his 10th for the Cubs on Tuesday night.
"It was good," Garza said. "But I missed my goals by two innings and three punch-outs. It is what it is. I'm really just learning and breaking into what I've got. I'm just pretty excited about this offseason. I just look forward to strengthening what I can strengthen and get ready for next season."
Garza is tied with Ryan Dempster for the team lead in victories. Dempster has a shot at No. 11 on Wednesday in the season finale.
Outfielder Alfonso Soriano's three-run home run in the eighth gave Garza the victory after he trailed 2-1 going into the inning.
"He deserves the win in his last start of the season," Soriano said. "He's been so good for us the whole year. It's his first year with the team and everybody loves him because no matter how he pitches, he's out there the next day cheering and giving emotion to everybody."
There's a possibility Soriano may play his last game as a Cub on Wednesday if the team decides to move the veteran outfielder and the $54 million left on his contract.
"I don't think about it," Soriano said. "I have control over it. But if they want to trade me, I hope it's to a contender. If not I want to be here and win here."