Cubs won't rely on past knowledge in Matt Garza's return

Cubs won't rely on past knowledge in Matt Garza's return
May 17, 2014, 12:45 pm
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The Cubs have already been through the theatrics in Milwaukee, but on Saturday The Garza Show returned to Wrigley Field.

Matt Garza shut down his former teammates last month at Miller Park, limiting the Cubs to two runs on four hits with one walk and seven strikeouts over seven innings in a 5-2 Brewers win. The Cubs learned Garza's tendencies from 2011-2013, with the right-hander starting 60 games before a mid-season trade to Texas last year. But manager Rick Renteria doesn't want his lineup falling back on previous knowledge of Garza, given some of that knowledge may be based on incorrect perceptions instead of hard data.

"They'll still have to go review the books because sometimes people say this guy does this or doesn't do that, (but) when you look at it you go, 'where did you get your information,' 'well I played with him,' 'well you weren't very accurate,' " Renteria explained. "Sometimes playing with people doesn't give you the correct information. You actually have to go back and decipher it."

[MORE: Matt Garza brings the energy to Brewers' clubhouse]

Garza may have a better knowledge of what pitches Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro & Co. like and don't like, but with so much video and so many precision scouting reports available just about every player's tendencies can be figured out. So it's not exactly a well-kept secret that Renteria believes his lineup needs to knock Garza off his game early, since he's tough to get to once he gets into a groove.

And that's what Milwaukee tried to do when Garza was in Chicago.

"When we faced him before, that's what we saw," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said on Friday. "We'd go through a game and he'd be fifth, sixth inning and we weren't doing anything against him. We talked about how to try to disrupt his rhythm or whatever it is, disrupt whatever's going on because we felt like we weren't going to be able to get to him."