Thursday, September 4, 2014

Brewers and Matt Garza Get an Early Look at the Cubs' Future

A few months ago I posted about Matt Garza's dumb comments to Jeff Samardzija, who he essentially told to "pitch his way out of Chicago." For a minute let's put these two things aside: I hate the Brewers, and I believe pitchers will wish they were pitching in the Chicago Cubs lineup in the very near future. Instead, let's focus on the facts.

Last night, Matt Garza took the ball for the Milwaukee Brewers with a chance to get his team back into the top of the division. The Cubs, yes the very team Garza suggested Samardzija should abandon, had knocked the Brewers out of first place the night before; however, Garza sees himself as an ace and was set to face a 2014 Cubs lineup without Anthony Rizzo or Starlin Castro. This should've been an easy win over a team Garza openly disrespected despite being treated like nothing less than a star pitcher during his time there.

Of course, the Cubs prevailed and did so easily. Garza was severely outpitched by rookie Kyle Hendricks, the NL's Rookie of the Month in August. The victory completed a sweep for the Cubs, who are looking more and more like the team fans have been waiting to see, even with their two current best players out with injury. While Garza fell to 7-8 in another injury-plagued season, Hendricks moved to 6-1 and now owns an ERA (2.02) that is about half of Garza's (3.87).

Hendricks is just one of a few options the Cubs seem to have ready to replace recent higher priced pitchers like Garza, Samardzija, and others. Perhaps most importantly, he's healthy, something Garza could rarely claim during his Chicago stint.

The point here is that I believe the change is finally in sight. For now, it's fun enough to watch my Cubs sweep the Brewers right out of a September division lead. But starting in 2015, players like Garza should finally be trying to pitch their way IN to Chicago. Milwaukee can keep Garza. I'll take the kids who beat him.

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