There's no question the Texas Rangers have skidded into playoff purgatory over the past couple of weeks. They went from being a near-sure bet to make the postseason, either as the AL West champ or as one of the two AL Wild Card teams, to now being in a position where they don't even control their own destiny to get one of the two wild card slots.
There's also no question that some of that blame has fallen on the shoulders of Matt Garza, who was acquired to solidify an injury-plagued starting rotation a couple of weeks before the July 31 trade deadline for a pretty sizeable package that included Mike Olt and pitching prospect C.J. Edwards.
Garza hasn't been a frontline starter. In fact, he hasn't even been a No. 3 starter. Since the Rangers acquired him, he's eaten innings but has been a near-lock to give up at least four earned runs. And in his few starts leading up to Saturday's masterpiece in Kansas City, he wasn't even giving the Rangers innings.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan wrote over the weekend that the Rangers' general manager, Jon Daniels, was forced by ownership to trade for Garza, who is a free agent this winter and is someone Daniels and the Rangers have coveted for years.
Daniels answered questions about the article on Monday and basically shot down the presumption in quick order.
“That’s a fallacy,” Daniels told reporters. “It’s not accurate. The last thing we’re looking to do is see any sort of wedges being driven or anything like that. It’s just not accurate. Ownership has been as supportive as they possibly can be."
“They want to win but they never forced our hand on anything. I’m not saying that because they give me my paycheck. It’s the truth,” said Daniels.
Garza is 4-5 with a 4.56 ERA since joining the Rangers but is coming off one of his best starts of the season, regardless of team, on Saturday when he shut down a hot-hitting Royals lineup and allowed just one run while pitching into the ninth inning of a much-needed Rangers win.