I always wonder about players who are traded to a lesser team; do they come to resent the team that traded them, or their new team, or even both? You'll pretty much never hear a player admit it ("What do you think about being traded to the Pirates?" "It sucks. This is bullshit."), but it has to happen sometimes, right?
Take Matt Garza. What's he thinking each day as he dons the Cubs uniform? Is he just happy to be playing big league ball, fighting the good fight on a floundering team and making millions of dollars to do so? Does he possess a perspective that enables him to fully appreciate that it's just a business--you know, "no hard feelings" and all that?
Or is he pissed that he was traded to a piss poor team with a first-year manager and a stadium that somehow seems emptier than Tropicana Field? While his former team sits above .500 in an exciting race with the Red Sox and Yankees, Garza finds himself on a team allergic to winning and, heading into yesterday, he had just two wins to his name despite posting stats comparable to last year's. His ERA was better than a year ago when he won 15 games in Tampa Bay, and he had increased his K/9 and his K/BB ratio. The problem is, he ranks in the bottom quartile among starters when it comes to run support, and the Cubs have scored two or fewer runs in five of his starts this season.
I honestly don't know whether Garza feels any frustration about being a Cub, but let's hope not since he's likely to be in Chicago for at least two more years. (And hopefully the Cubs will improve within that time frame so that we don't have to worry about it.)
Yesterday, however, the script was completely flipped. Garza struggled the entire day, needing 99 pitches to get through six innings. He left with a one-run lead, but not before raising his ERA from 3.84 to 4.14. But for once, the offense bailed him out as they tallied 14 hits and put up a season-high 12 runs. Zack Greinke continued to struggle; he has six wins on the season but easily has the highest ERA among all the Brewers' starters.
The Cubs hadn't won a series since May 24-26 at home against the Mets, so it certainly was refreshing to see them take three of four against the first-place Brewers. Next up is a big series against the Yankees followed by the first helping of the Crosstown Classic.