UPDATED 8/31/14 12:45 a.m. CDT
After a 47-pitch, three-inning simulated game on Friday, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Matt Garza will return to the starting rotation Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs.
His return start will take place one full month since he strained his left oblique against St. Louis on Aug. 3.
The veteran right-hander said it was good to get that in-competition feeling going again.
“It was more anxiety than anything, but I felt great,” Garza said. “If you don’t have that, then why keep playing? It lets you know you’re alive. You let that adrenaline kick in when it goes. That’s why it’s fun to get back on the mound.”
Garza said his teammates were trying to take him out of the park.
“We’ve got a tight clubhouse and that would be something to talk about the rest of the year, like, ‘Ha, I got you!” Garza said. “It was fun. The intensity level was there. Like I said, I was happy to be out there.”
In the first year of a four-year free-agent deal he signed in January, Garza is 7-7 with a 3.58 ERA and 1.133 WHIP in 23 starts and 145.2 innings.
The 30-year-old got off to a rough start. He was just 2-4 with a 4.84 ERA and 1.313 WHIP over his first 11 starts, covering April and May.
Since then, Garza has been much better, posting a 5-3 record with a 2.52 ERA and 0.979 WHIP over his last 12 starts.
Garza pitched last season with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers before becoming a free agent at season’s end.
A first-round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2005, Garza debuted with the Twins in August 2006 and has also pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays during his nine-year career.