Less than six months ago, Wayne Garland was signing a $2.3 million contract with the Cleveland Indians and Geoff Zahn was on baseball's junk pile, "praying for one more chance."
The pitchers' roads crossed Monday night and, as has been case all season, it was Zahn, cast off by two clubs, who looked more like the million-dollar property. The 30-year-old southpaw, signed by Minnesota as a free agent last winter, hurled the Twins to an 8-1 victory over Cleveland for his sixth win of the season against only one loss.
"I wasn't sure but I felt I could still pitch," sais Zahn, who asked the Chicago Cubs for his release after spending last season in the minor leagues. "It was my belief the Lord gave me the talent to pitch and I didn't want to go out that way. I prayed for one more chance.
"I went to spring training with the Dodgers, but nothing happened," he continued. "Then the Twins' Jerry Terrell suggested I call pitching coach Don McMahon. I threw to him for several days and he recommended me for a tryout with the Twins.
"That gave me peace of mind and the idea that I had a chance," he concluded. "That's all I prayed for."
Zahn, who gave up seven hits in hurling his third complete game, looks like the biggest free-agent bargain of the year right now.
Rod Carew supplied the support Zahn needed by driving home two runs with two singles and a double. Garland, meanwhile, never made it past the fourth inning, being tagged for the first three Minnesota runs as his record slid to 1-5.