CHICAGO -- Matt Garza’s throws to the plate seem fine, it’s the ones off flat ground to first base that are an adventure.
Garza added two more odd throws to first base Wednesday, both on balls out in front of home plate by the Philadelphia Phillies’ Juan Pierre.
In the first inning, Garza appeared to guide the ball to first base, throwing it in the dirt. Pierre was called safe at first base and Garza was given the error, although television replays showed that first-base umpire Gerry David missed the call.
Again in the third inning, Garza threw one directly into the ground with Pierre getting a hit on the play.
“The second one, I got up about to throw and (catcher Geovany Soto) says ‘No, don’t throw,’ ” Garza said. “It was one of those ‘I’m already going forward!’ Right there if you’re already thinking about not throwing you’re already going. You’re not going to throw it where it needs to go.”
That’s the thing with Garza’s throws to first base: None of them seem like they are going to where they need to go. He has taken to underhanding many throws, even those well beyond the typical underhand length.
His most noteworthy overthrow of first base this season came April 12 when a successful throw to first base would have given him a complete game. Instead he threw the ball well into the stands and the bullpen was called upon to get the last out.
Asked about it Wednesday, manager Dale Sveum had very little to say on the subject.
“It’s something that’s going on, you have to work on and do something about it,” Sveum said.
He was asked if it’s a mental issue.
“I’m not a psychologist,” Sveum said. “I don’t know what it is.”
Garza simply insisted there was nothing to be concerned about. He said the first poor throw came because he was rushed with the speedy Pierre running down the first-base line.
“I’m not too worried about it,” Garza said. “It’s not a big thing. I’m just going to keep getting people out. If teams feel like that’s all they want to do is bunt against me then we’re going to have some quick games. I’m not too worried about that. You’re going to have to hit a single to score.”