No, not that decision.
This morning, both major dailies that cover the home team noted that the Rays finally rewarded Matt Garza with some run support so he could earn a win, his first since throwing a no-hitter on July 26.
In his three starts between that no-no and last night’s win, Garza allowed just 16 hits and 9 runs (7 earned) over 20.2 innings. But, his record was 0-2 with a ND in during that period because the Rays offense managed a measly 6 runs…total.
While I appreciate that Garza’s recent stretch as a hard-luck loser is an obvious storyline that well-seasoned baseball writers feel compelled to write, I am surprised no one took the opportunity to use Garza’s recent record as proof that pitcher Wins bear very little relationship to a pitcher’s performance.
Looking back, Garza has been spectacular for two months (excluding a weird bump at Baltimore where he lost his command…we’ll just chalk that one up to boredom…who can get excited about dueling with Nick Markakis?). So, who cares whether the Rays offense took the lead for good while he was on the mound? That is an offensive stat, not a reflection on the way Garza has pitched.
(Side note: The question above is rhetorical. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be answered. Who cares about Garza’s record? His agent. Garza is eligible for arbitration this winter and is probably due for a nice bump in pay. I have never been to a salary arbitration hearing but I suspect widely accepted statistical measures, like pitcher records, are still relied upon heavily.)