Mr. Hard Luck – Matt Garza

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

 

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9 Responses to “Mr. Hard Luck – Matt Garza”

  1. Andy says:

    Garza has a fairly high WHIP (1.25) for such a low ERA. I mean, a WHIP of 1.25 is just fine, but isn’t usually paired with such a low ERA. He’s probably stranded quite a few baserunners…a trend, based just on law of averages, that is not all that likely to continue. (This has nothing to do with his W/L and run support, however.)

    I am not much of a Twins fan…I actually had to look up Kirby Puckett’s jersey number just to make this post!

  2. Jobiwan says:

    As I remember, Santana had quite a reputation for stranding baserunners in his first year as reliever. He’d get himself into trouble quite often. Every good pitcher has had to work himself out of jams. I’m not saying that he’ll be the next Cy Young, but the kid has some good stuff…and he does play for America’s sweethearts.

    My two cents being spent on something other than gumballs there. The answer to the secret question can be found on this very page…and all other pages of this site. I’m sure we can find a more generic secret question…any suggestions?

  3. Scot says:

    1-0 games are a strange thing. When your team is on the winning end it was clearly an epic pitcher’s duel. When your team comes out on the other side, it was due to lousy hitting.

    I would have to give the nod to Blyleven in a hard luck contest. If he had just over a half win more per season he would be sitting in Cooperstown right now. Makes those 6 1-0 losses look even a bit more hard luck (and I assume that he lost a few 1-0 games with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and California).

  4. Blake says:

    I would have to give the nod to Blyleven in a hard luck contest. If he had just over a half win more per season he would be sitting in Cooperstown right now. Makes those 6 1-0 losses look even a bit more hard luck (and I assume that he lost a few 1-0 games with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and California).

    Blyleven had a total of 10, 2-0 losses in his career. Besides his 6 with Minnesota, he had 1 with Cleveland, 1 with Pittsburgh and 2 with Texas. To add to the frustration, 9 of the 10 losses were complete games!

    Bert Blyleven: From 1970 to 1992, Pitcher Lost, as Starter, (requiring R< =1), sorted by most recent date in a single game

  5. Blake says:

    Andy….agreed, Garza’s WHIP isn’t overwhelming and maybe his ERA is just as much a product of luck (or law of averages) as is his couple of 1-0 losses.

    Keep up the great work on the B-R Stat of the Day Blog…great stuff! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Blake says:

    Joe….quit calling the Twins America’s sweethearts. Sounds like they are a bunch of 16 year old spirit squad members! ;-)

  7. Jobiwan says:

    Spirit squad members, too true. I can’t wait until Punto comes out of his hole and tries to get the crowd pumped up by doing the hand jive above the Twins dugout.

    I probably deserve a place on this site…
    http://homersota.com/

  8. Andy says:

    I don’t know where to post this, but that article on ESPN about the Twins’ 20th anniversary reunion for the ’87 World Series is awfully sad, noting how both Puckett and Reardon’s son will be absent.

  9. Blake says:

    I don’t know where to post this, but that article on ESPN about the Twins’ 20th anniversary reunion for the ‘87 World Series is awfully sad, noting how both Puckett and Reardon’s son will be absent.

    I’m sure there will be a few tears shed, but I suspect they will be far outweighed by smiles and fond memories. Wish I had a magic school bus that could whisk me to the Dome this weekend, but I’ll have to read about like the rest of us out-of-towners (or in my case, out-of-country).

    Here’s a link to the article for everyone else:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2977867