Brewers' Garza endures ugly outing
JUL 19, 2014 11:59p ET
By the time the first inning was over Saturday night, the Milwaukee Brewers had already pulled their starting pitcher and were in a 5-0 hole to one of the best pitching teams in baseball.
"He didn't throw the ball that bad," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's a shame. He made good pitches and they did a good job of fouling them off. They did a good job of reaching out and putting the ball in play. One ball was hit hard and that was the eighth hitter (Wilson) Ramos. That was the only hard-hit ball of the inning, and I have to take him out in the first inning."
Denard Span led off bottom of the first with a single on the seventh pitch of his at-bat, but Garza responded by striking out Anthony Rendon on three pitches. The next six batters would reach, starting with a double by Jayson Werth and a walk to Adam LaRoche.
Ryan Zimmerman put the Nationals up 2-0 with a two-run single back up the middle before Garza walked Bryce Harper to again load the bases. An infield single by Ian Desmond and a single to center by Ramos made it 5-0 and chased Garza after just one-third of an inning.
At 42 pitches with just one out, Roenicke pullled Garza with his pitch count spiraling out of control for a single inning.
"We were going to get up to 50 pitches and none of us are comfortable with him going 50 in one inning," Roenicke said. "When you get to 40 it kind of gets shaky. We couldn't let him get to 50."
Not only was this the shortest start of Garza's career, it marked the first time a Brewers starting pitcher had lasted one-third of an inning or fewer since Zack Greinke was ejected in the first inning of a game in Houston on July 7, 2012. The last time it happened for the Brewers without an injury or ejection was back in May of 2010 when the Twins scored seven runs off right-hander Dave Bush in one-third of an inning.
Garza is the fifth starter in baseball this season to record just one out with only one of the previous four being shortened due to injury.
"There were some ugly hits there," Roenicke said. "But saying that, they fouled off a lot of tough pitches that were good pitches and they put the ball in play. When you put it in play with two strikes anything can happen. They did a good job with that."
Helping to save the bullpen after the short start, right-hander Marco Estrada worked 5 2/3 innings of relief, allowing three earned runs. However, Milwaukee's offense didn't have much to show offensively against Tanner Roark and the Nationals bullpen.
The Brewers' runs came when one scored on a throwing error and then a two-run blast from Ryan Braun when the game was out of reach.
Scooter exits: Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett was removed from the game in the top of the eighth inning due to tightness in his leg.
"We knew it was tight in the second or third inning," Roenicke said. "We kind of watched him. I thought if there were a time in the game where I could get him out of there I would get him out of there."
Roenicke was planning on hitting Rickie Weeks for Gennett, but Weeks couldn't find his batting helmet in time. That meant reserve catcher Martin Maldonado had to hit for Gennett, while Weeks entered the game defensively at second base in the bottom of the eighth.
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