Feldman: The curious case of Jaime Garcia

Feldman: The curious case of Jaime Garcia

Credit: Getty Images

ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 27: Jaime Garcia #54 and Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals talk on the mound during Game Six of the MLB World Series against the Texas Rangers at Busch Stadium on October 27, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Print
Email
|

by Brian Feldman

KMOV.com

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 2 at 5:07 PM

(Baseball StL) -- What on earth are the Cardinals going to do with Jaime Garcia?  If this home/road thing hasn’t already gotten out of control we are awfully close to that point.

It’s ridiculous.

How can one man with such filthy stuff (it’s my contention his is as good as anyone on this team) hold opponents to 14 earned runs in 48 innings at Busch Stadium, yet allow more than twice that number - 33 - in the same amount of innings on the road? 

It makes no sense.

Consider these other stats:

At home:  2.63 ERA, 52 hits allowed, 9 walks, 42 strikeouts, .287 opponents batting average

On the road: 6.19 ERA, 63 hits, 17 walks, 35 strikeouts, .325 opponents batting average

I’ve never been one to comment or jump to conclusions on what someone else might be thinking.  How can I know unless he says it?  And Garcia refuses to talk about his inconsistencies at home versus being away.

But it’s getting to the point where he doesn’t need to say it.  The evidence is so overwhelming it could practically hold up in court. 

The venue in which Garcia pitches is absolutely in his head.  It is.  There’s no other way around it.

How else can one man be in such complete control of a baseball game with such filthy late movement that hitters - especially lefties - don’t even stand a chance look so lost every time he is away from Busch?  Baseball’s a mental game...everyone knows that.  And for whatever reason, Garcia struggles mightily in that crucial area.

If he didn’t...he’d contend for a Cy Young.  But he does.  And now Mike Matheny has to make a call on whether he can trust Garcia or not during the home stretch of the regular season. 

Take one look at the schedule and you’ll see that 5 days from now  - conceivably his next turn to pitch - the Redbirds are on the road facing the Dodgers.  The same Dodgers who are hot on the Cards trail for that final wild card spot.

5 days later they’re in Chicago.  5 days after that they’re in Houston. 

Are the Cardinals really willing to trust Jaime Garcia to give them a chance to win with so much on the line?  Especially when there’s this guy named Chris Carpenter who’s just about ready to return? 

Nothing the team does is a coincidence.  And don’t think for a second it’s a coincidence that Carpenter’s simulated games have fallen precisely on the days of Garcia’s starts. 

I wrote the other day how the Cardinals cannot and should not activate Chris Carpenter until he’s 100% healthy, strong and ready to go.  Well, by all accounts his latest 70-pitch session was terrific and he’s recovering as well as you can. 

Reports suggest he’s got one more to go.  Saturday in Los Angeles.  The same day Garcia is supposed to face the Dodgers.

Well, after Garcia’s latest act of going just 3 innings and surrendering 4 runs on 7 hits...does Carpenter still throw another simulated game or does he take that start? 

We’ll find out soon enough.

Print
Email
|