Inspired by Sean Foreman’s awesome site, Baseball-Reference.com, the even more awesome B-R Play Index and the ever insightful B-R Stat of the Day blog, I have decided to start my own Stat of the Day type entry here at TwinsCards.com.
My first entry centers around the Matt “Hard Luck” Garza. Despite a stellar 2.05 ERA in 7 starts, Garza has only a 2-3 record to show for it. In his two wins, the Twins have given him great run support…a 12-0 win versus the ChiSox on July 6 and an 11-3 win versus the Mariners on Tuesday night. Two of his three losses have been 1-0 defeats…July 17 against the Tigers and August 9 against the Royals.
This got me thinking about other Twins pitchers who have suffered 1-0 losses in their careers. Thanks to the B-R Play Index, I was able to narrow my search to all starting pitchers (1961-2007) who gave up 1 run or less and was credited with the loss. I couldn’t quite drill the information all the way down, but got pretty close. The search counts runs given up by the starting pitcher but also includes 21 games in which the relievers gave up further runs (thus the game not ending 1-0).
If we take away those 21 games, we find 62 times where a starting pitcher has given up 1 run or less and was credited with the loss. So…now that we have the information, lets look at how unlucky Mr. Garza has been compared to other Twins pitchers.
- Jim Kaat lost 6, 1-0 games…2 in 1962
- Bert Blyleven lost 6, 1-0 games…2 in 1974 and 2 in 1975
- Dave Goltz lost 5, 1-0 games
- Dick Stigman lost 3, 1-0 games
- Frank Viola lost 3, 1-0 games…2 in 1987
- Kevin Tapani lost 3, 1-0 games
- Carlos Silva, Geoff Zahn, Pete Redfern, Jim Merritt, Neal Heaton (both in 1986), Scott Erickson, Roger Erickson (both in 1980), Jim Deshaies, Dean Chance and Matt Garza have all lost 2, 1-0 games.
So it looks like Matt Garza has a little ways to go before he can claim to be Mr Hard Luck Twin, but he is certainly well on his way.
Matt Garza’s Career Player Page on TwinsCards.com