4/7 Garza to start Game 2

Matt Garza is animated, doesn’t hide his emotions and every day he’s not pitching, he’s on the top step of the dugout, cheering on his teammates. Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, has noticed.

“He’s impressive,” Epstein said about Garza. “He’s a smarter guy than you’d think from across the field. I don’t mean that the wrong way. You watch him and how energetic and extroverted and fidgety he can be looking at him from across the field and you get an impression about him that maybe he’s not always thinking things through and the reality is he has a method to his madness.

“He knows himself really well and he understands the game really well,” Epstein said. “He knows how to prepare. I think there’s a lot more going on upstairs than some people give him credit for. He’s a really good teammate and a really good loyal member of the organization and someone who respects the game and the people of the game quite well. He cares a lot about winning. I’ve been impressed just getting to know him a little better and being around him more.”

On Saturday, Garza will make his first start for the Cubs as they take on the Nationals in Game 2 of the three-game series. The right-hander did make a bold move this year, taking over Carlos Zambrano’s locker space in the clubhouse. It seems appropriate.

“He walks a fine line,” Epstein said of Garza. “He can be in control or out of control. it works for him emotionally.”

 — Carrie Muskat

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