Garza Pitched Like Smoltz

October 20, 2008 at 10:50 am 13 comments


Scouts rave about Matt Garza’s stuff and compare him liberally to a young John Smoltz which sounds a bit unfair but the stuff and repetoire do match. The comparisons don’t end there, though. Here is a look at each pitcher’s first ever LCS experiences:


Those numbers are ridiculously close. What makes them more amazing is that both pitchers won game 7’s at the age of 24 in their first ever LCS appearances.

Like Smoltz, Garza wants the ball in the big game.

“He (Maddon) looked at me, he said, how do you feel? I said, great. You ain’t taking me out of this game. And he just looked at me. I said, you’re not taking me out of this game. This is my game and I’m going to finish it off, said Garza when Maddon came to the mound the first time. “He (Maddon) said, well, you look good. I’ll see you later.”

John Smoltz is a future Hall-of-Famer so I dare throw the Garza-Smoltz comparison around lightly but one can’t help but notice all the similarities these two share.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
quotes from

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. erik  |  October 20, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    I wouldn’t call Smoltz a HOFer just yet. But Garza is the most playoff tested of the Rays staff.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 21, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Really? I think he is for sure, maybe not first ballot but he’s for sure in.

  • 3. Erik  |  October 21, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    210 W 154 SV, 3.26 era, with the exceptions of Drysdale, Catfish Hunter,Bunning no other player with comparable stats are in the Hall of Fame.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 21, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Don’t forget his postseason stuff: 15-4 W-L, 4 saves, 2.65 ERA, 207 IP, 168 hits allowed, 194 strikeouts.

    He is also 16th all-time with 3011 strike outs.

    He’s in.

  • 5. supremesportsjustice  |  October 21, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    The post season stats and big games put him in….but wouldn’t count on a first ballot election.

  • 6. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I’m with you Dan. Plus I think he pitches at least one more season and adds to his stats.

  • 7. Erik  |  October 21, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    He will most likely return as a closer… But of the three big time Atlanta Pitchers he is the least likely of Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz to get in.

  • 8. Erik  |  October 21, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    No Garza on the other hand…jk

  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 21, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I think he will return to the pen as well and I agree Maddux and Glavine are ahead of Smoltz.

  • 10. John Cloutman  |  October 24, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I think that Smoltz is a lock to be a second ballot HOFer. Garza has great stuff, but I really do not think that he will be able to put up Smoltz like numbers year in and year out.

  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2008 at 10:51 am

    It will be hard for anyone to put up Smoltz like numbers at all so those are high expectations. But so far in his young career Garza has Smoltz’s stuff and repitoire.

  • 12. Justino  |  October 28, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    No one should ever be compared to the future hall of famer Smoltz. Garza pitches great but no one can ever meet the likes of smoltz especially in the post season.

  • 13. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 28, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Why not? His stuff and repetoire matches that of Smoltz and his numbers in each of their first LCS were identical, even the age was the same. I agree it’s not fair to compare him but it is hard not to.


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