Matt Garza threw mostly fastballs in his first outing since July 21, 2012. He threw a first pitch strike to five of the 10 batters he faced today. The 29-year old’s fastball was clocked between 87-90 MPH. Seven of the eight outs recorded by Garza were ground outs (one double play), with one fly out to shallow center. The 6-foot-4 pitcher threw 42 pitches with 25 strikes.
1st Inning: 3 batters, 7 pitches, 6 strikes
In the first inning, the right-hander induced ground outs to shortstop Arismendy Alcantara from the first two batters. Braves right fielder Jose Martinez flew out to center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha on the first pitch to end in the opening frame. The Selma, Calif. native needed just seven pitches (six strikes) to retire the side in the first inning.
2nd Inning: 1 run, 1 hit, 2 walks, 5 batters, 27 pitches, 13 strikes
The second inning was a grind for the Cubs starter. Garza threw the first six pitches of the stanza out of the strike zone walking Christian Marrero and Edward Salcedo to begin the frame. After failing to get a sacrifice bunt down, Jaime Pedroza grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Light-hitting Braves catcher Braeden Schlehuber (.170 batting with 2 runs batted in through 13 games prior to today) lined a single to right field to plate the game’s first run. The inning came to an end with Garza covering first base after a ground ball to Ty Wright.
3rd Inning: 2 batters, 8 pitches, 6 strikes
Nearing his pitch limit of 45, Garza only faced two batters in the inning. The former Fresno State Bulldog threw the first two pitches of the inning for balls, but threw the next six over the plate getting a pair of ground outs, one to second basemen Ronald Torreyes and the other to third basemen Christian Villanueva.
Michael Wottreng is a Broadcast and Multimedia Assistant for the Smokies Radio Network. You can follow Michael on Twitter here: @MWottreng