Garland seeking longer leash, increased pitch count

Garland seeking longer leash, increased pitch count

DENVER -- Starting pitcher Jon Garland was upset about coming out of the game after five innings Wednesday in Chicago, feeling that nearly two years after Tommy John surgery he's ready for deeper pitch counts.

Garland gave up three runs in five innings on seven hits and a walk while throwing 93 pitches.

"At some point you just have to say, 'Go,'" Garland said Wednesday about a pattern of being pulled early to protect him as he comes back from injury. "That's my personal feeling about it, but I'm not the one in charge."

Manager Walt Weiss responded to Garland's concerns, praising his pitcher for his competitive mindset.

"I want all our guys to compete," Weiss said. "I want our pitchers to stay out there for nine, or at least having the mentality to do that. I'm going to do what I feel like I have to do."

The Rockies entered Thursday's game with a 3.79 ERA and 17 quality starts in their first 40 games. They finished 2012 with a 5.22 ERA and 27 quality starts.

"There's some history to the philosophies here," Weiss said. "There's a track record. We also have four guys in our rotation who are coming off injury-riddled seasons where they missed most of the year last year. I don't think it's anything extreme what we're doing. Our starters have gotten a chance to go. They're typically in the 90-100 range, and that's plenty of time to get through a game.

"I want all our guys to be mad when I take them out," Weiss added, indicating no reservations with Garland.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.