Earlier today, when we had a live video chat in the MASNsports.com web studio with Adam Jones, I asked him about Matt Garza’s comments.
Garza, who pitches for Tampa vs. the Orioles tonight, sounds still stung by the game on July 20 when he gave up seven runs and four homers vs. the O’s.
Garza said of tonight’s rematch:
“I owe them a lot of payback for the type of outing I had last time against them,” he said. “They had back-to-back-to-back. So I’m going to make them feel really uncomfortable in the box. So they know, this (stuff) doesn’t happen, so don’t get used to it.
“I’m going to go in there, hair on fire, like I have been and go after them and say, ‘Hey, you got me the first time, well I’m going to shove it down your throat this time.”
Here is what Jones said about those comments during our live chat:
“Nice. I mean, you take it two ways. I take it really just one way. That’s what a leader does for their team. They’re in a playoff race and they are trying to win that division. He’s supposed to say that. Now if he comes out and gives up a few bombs early and we get him out in the third or fourth inning, he will definitely have to answer some questions for that.
“If he throws a good game, like he is well capable of, then he is trying to back up his words. They’re in a playoff race.”
But didn’t he provide motivation for the Orioles with those comments?
“Definitely. I know one guy that’s angry is Luke. Wiggy is probably hot right now too.”
Has Jones talked to them about Garza’s comments?
“Just knowing Luke. Luke hears anything he doesn’t like, he’s got a grudge and he’s trying to hit something, really, really hard off you.
“But that is fire, that’s part of the game of baseball. These are must-win games for them if they want to keep up with the Yankees. He’s free to say what he wants.”
Does Jones interpret those comments to mean Garza might throw at an O’s hitter tonight?
“No. If you watch him pitch, he comes after you. That’s why I like facing this whole entire staff, they come after you. Look in their eyes, they’ll give you everything they’ve got every pitch.
“He pounds the strike zone and you know what you are going to get. You are going to get 95, 96, two seamers running inside, sliders, curves, some change-ups to right-handers.”
By the way, Jones, who will likely miss tonight’s game due to the injury near his left shoulder in the upper back area, is 8 for 21 lifetime with two homers off Garza.