With the loss, and the Scranton victory, the Wings are now a game out of first place in the International League North. I'm not sure I totally understand the rationale of pitching Garza only 5 innings, unless Stan Cliburn was under orders to do so. This was his fourth start. No reason to remove him so early in a close game. It's one thing to be ‘cautious', but here's a guy who has pitched all season. 69 pitches is hardly breaking a sweat at this point in the year. And with the Wings bullpen so thin, this didn't help at all. I'm very disappointed in the way this game was played.
While the Wings' hitting was not good either, the very shoddy defense has been a major thorn in the teams' side all season. Having the winning run score on a passed ball simply underscores the clubs' problem of giving many games away due to poor defense.
The series continues tomorrow. It will be interesting to see if there is any player movement after the trade deadline passes. But right now, the Wings playoff chances for 2006 are in great danger for the first time all year. They won't be able to win the division or earn the wild card by playing .500 ball the rest of the way.
Stan Cliburn may not circle this loss with his red pen, but I sure will. I sure hope the powers that be allow Matt Garza (if he is still with us) to pitch a real ball game next time his turn comes up. He surely didn't today.