Garza suspects he was tipping pitches

Brewers righty changes signs following Rockies' three-run fourth

Garza suspects he was tipping pitches

MILWAUKEE -- Rockies batters so smothered Brewers starter Matt Garza on Tuesday that the right-hander pondered during the middle innings whether he might be tipping pitches. He was concerned enough to confer with catcher Jonathan Lucroy to make a mid-game change to their signs.

"They were on a lot of stuff today," Garza said after a 5-2 Brewers loss in which Colorado logged double-digit hits for the second straight game. "It was pretty impressive."

One at-bat was particularly puzzling to Garza. In the fourth inning, when five of the first six Rockies reached on hits, including three doubles, Garza was ahead of left fielder Corey Dickerson, 0-2.

"Then he slides up on the plate as the pitch is called," Garza said.

That next pitch was indeed offspeed -- a curveball in the dirt for Ball 1. Two pitches after that, Dickerson doubled to make it 2-0. Nick Hundley followed with a run-scoring single that would send Dickerson home with what proved to be the decisive run.

Dickerson's RBI double

"Maybe they had something, maybe they don't," Garza said. "They're locked in. There's nothing you can do. My breaking stuff wasn't sharp today; I don't know why."

Once he began to wonder about tipping, "We went in there and changed some [signs] up, and they were still on it. So we don't know where it's coming from. That's neither here nor there. You can know what's coming and still not hit it."

After working all spring to refine his mechanics and rediscover his slider, Garza pitched five innings in his regular-season debut. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. His next scheduled start is Monday in the Cardinals' home opener at Busch Stadium.

"It wasn't a great day, but it wasn't a bad day," Garza said. "It was one of those, 'You want to kick yourself in the teeth'-type of days."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.