The Cubs beat the A’s, Matt Garza pitched quite well, and Kevin Gregg got the save. These are all good things, and should be highlighted.
Where there is bound to be a great deal of debate, however, is in how many pitches Garza was permitted to throw – 114, to be precise. Garza was sent out for the 8th inning after he’d already cleared the 100 pitch mark. Some folks probably get angry and say, “why in the world would you risk Garza’s health after he’d already pitched well, and had already show he can go deep?” Other folks will defend the move and say, “yes, but in this way the Cubs really, really showed that they have full confidence in his health.”
The truth – other than the fact that the manager was probably just doing what the manager does and sticking with his starter as long as he thought he could go – is probably somewhere in the middle there. My gut reaction to these things is always “protect the pitcher!” Once Garza had cleared the 100 pitch mark, I’m not sure how much more of a message you need to send to other teams. On the other hand, if health is the biggest thing holding up the return in a Garza trade, well, then, I suppose the Cubs sent a pretty strong message in this one.
But on to other things …