He has 41 strikeouts, eight unintentional walks (thus a 5 to 1 K/BB), and zero home runs allowed in his 30.2 innings pitched. He leads NL starting pitchers in wins above replacement (WAR), according to Fangraphs, tied with Roy Halladay.
He is Matt Garza, 0-3 record and all.
SABR-type stats are showing Garz a lot of love because they give him the benefit of the doubt on the balls put in play against him. I know I've mentioned this before, but to review: roughly 30% of the balls put into play by opposing batters -- grounders, fly balls, and line drives that aren't home runs -- fall in for hits over a typical season. That's just literally how the ball bounces, and it's been shown over years of research. In Garza's case, well over 40% of the balls put into play against him have turned into hits, and so the SABR types consider him unlucky.
Things like strikeouts and walks, the argument goes, have a lot less to do with luck, and as previously stated, Garza has been really good at getting K's while limiting BB's. Garza is 11th in all of baseball in K/BB ratio, and 1st overall in strikeouts per nine innings. Since these are the factors that go into fWAR, it's not surprising that Garza is at the top of the list.
So does that make you feel any better about his 18 runs allowed? For me, it mostly doesn't. But then again it also sort of does.
When Garza came over to the NL Central from the AL East, people assumed his numbers would benefit from the fact that he would be facing lower quality hitters day in and day out. Fortunately, that has held true; in particular, because he's facing pitchers instead of DHs, that strikeout rate should be up, and of course, it is.
But there's another factor that's impacting Garza's stats: he's left behind the vaunted Ray defense in exchange for these bumbling Cubs. Rob has touched on this previously, and it can't be ignored: over three years in Tampa, Garza had a .270 BABIP; now one month into his Chicago tenure it's up to .414.
There are some other weird things going on with Garza's batted ball stats; for example, he's apparently converted from a flyball pitcher to a groundball guy all of a sudden. That might/will probably regress back to his old Tampa form, but that's sort of not a big deal the way I see it. The main thing is this: if he can strike out a guy or more per inning and limit himself to one or two walks per start, he'll do fine all season long.
Ladies and gentlemen, your NL SP fWAR leader, Matt Garza.