Matt Garza should have had his first shutout as a Cub against the Brewers on Thursday. All he needed to do was take Norichika Aoki’s comebacker and hurl it on over to first for the third out in the ninth. Instead, he tossed it into the stands, leading to his removal from the game after 8 2/3 innings.
The game wasn’t close, what with the Cubs winning 8-0, but manager Dale Sveum didn’t want to risk Garza topping 120 pitches in his second start of the year. The error followed Garza’s 119th pitch of the afternoon.
After Garza was removed, Shawn Camp got George Kottaras to groundout, finishing the three-hitter.
Garza notched his first win of the season after having his lead last week blown by the combination of Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol. The shutout would have been the fourth of his career, with the last coming July 26, 2010 for the Rays against the Tigers. He recorded his first two in 2008.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Rangers have signed outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Gomez will earn $11.5 million next season.
Gomez, 31, struggled with the Astros to a .594 OPS before the club released him in mid-August. The Rangers signed him shortly thereafter and were immediately rewarded. Gomez hit .284/.362/.543 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 130 plate appearances through the end of the regular season.
As presently constructed, Gomez would likely take over in center field with Nomar Mazara handling left and Shin-Soo Choo in right.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks are close to signing free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Rodney, 39, has been inconsistent over the past two seasons. This past season, he was lights-out with the Padres, posting a 0.31 ERA in 28 appearances. After the Marlins acquired him at the end of June, he struggled to a 5.89 ERA in 39 appearances.
Brad Ziegler, who closed for the Diamondbacks in the first half last season, went to the Red Sox in a midseason trade and is now a free agent. The Diamondbacks had six other relievers register a save, but only Daniel Hudson and Jake Barrett recorded more than one. Adding Rodney will give the club some stability in the ninth inning.