When he got a rare start on July 15, 1974 against Oakland, Garland showed signs that he already was changing from a thrower to a thinker by holding the A's hitless for 8? innings before losing in the ninth. "He had more tricks than a kid on Halloween," says Jackson, who was then with the A's. "Fastball, curve, slider, changeup, forkball, knuckler." Unfortunately some of his tricks, most notably the curve, were treats for the hitters. Now Garland limits himself to fastballs, sliders, changeups and occasional knucklers and makes them all work, as Hunter does, by keeping the ball low and pitching to spots. An ideal game for Garland would be 27 ground outs. In 139 innings he has struck out a modest 68, but he has walked only 37 and given up just 128 hits. His 13th victory, a 6-2 defeat of the Indians last week, was slightly subnormal on only one count—he allowed 10 hits. Otherwise Garland followed his usual pattern, walking no one and inducing Cleveland batters to hit 15 grounders.
Although his 20% pay cut has been restored, Garland continues to hold out, but his goal is no longer becoming a free agent. "Now that I'm a starter, I figure holding out helps my bargaining position with the Orioles," he says. "I would like to sign a two-year contract and buy a house in Baltimore for my wife and two kids. Security, that's what I want. I really don't care about playing out my option. Deciding between four or five different teams puts too much pressure on the individual." But not as much pressure as Grump is laying on the hitters nowadays.