Rockies fans got their first glimpse of new pitcher Jon Garland on Saturday night at Coors Field in a 6-3 victory over the San Diego Padres. Characterized as a groundball machine brought in to bring sanity to a hitter's paradise, Garland showed early glimpses that he just might be the right man for the job. He pitched six efficient innings, limiting the San Diego Padres to two runs on five hits. He needed just 75 pitches (49 strikes) to get through his night's work. Garland, 33, faced a critical juncture in the fourth. A leadoff double by Carlos Quentin, a bloop single by Yonder Alonso and a walk by Jedd Gyorko loaded the bases with one out. Garland badly needed groundball outs via his heavy sinker. He quickly induced two of them, including a double play off the bat of Cameron Maybin to end the threat. Instead of a big Padres inning, the game remained tied 1-1. Rockies fans simmered all winter, closely watching the hot-stove league to see if the club would add a veteran pitcher to prop up a shaky starting rotation. A move finally came, at the tail end of spring training, when the Rockies signed Garland, who had been released by the Seattle Mariners. The Rockies are convinced that Garland, who missed all of the 2012 season after undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery in July 2011, was the kind of veteran pitcher they needed. "I think they wanted to show that they were trying to make this team better," Garland said Friday. In the words of Rockies manager Walt Weiss, Garland "profiles well." He's a veteran sinkerballer who has a well-seasoned game plan every time he takes the mound. "I have always liked Jon Garland," pitching coach Jim Wright said Friday. "He brings in what we would like to see from our young pitchers. He's got an efficient delivery and he gets over the ball and he throws strikes.
Jon Garland impressive in first start for Colorado Rockies
Denver Post | Apr 7