(BaseballStL) -- When someone with minimal talent plays poorly it's not all that hard to swallow from the fan's perspective. It's to be expected. Right? Sure, you hope for better results but in the end you understand it's impossible to make someone into something he's not.
But when someone who has all the talent in the world struggles? When they tease you just enough with their dominance only to crush your hopes and dreams for them on a way too regular basis? Yeah. That can get annoying.
Why Jaime Garcia continues to be as inconsistent as he's been with the Cardinals is anyone's guess. I'm not a pitching coach. I'm not a scout. I'm not a psychiatrist. I'm don't have a PhD.
I'm a sportscaster, er, sports writer.
What I do know is this. Garcia's pure stuff is as good as anyone on the Cardinals staff. Heck, his stuff is probably as nasty as anyone in the league. You don't construct a 2.70 ERA as a 23-year old rookie (in 2010) without that. You don't blank Ryan Braun and the Brewers for seven shutout innings by accident.
Yet here we are in year number four of the Jaime Garcia era in St. Louis and, still, we're no closer to having an answer as to who he is than we were when it started. Back then it was - okay, he's got a ton of talent but is that going to play month after month, year after year? Today the response is the exact same. When is this guy ever going to find some consistency?
Friday night's three inning, eight run performance against the Phillies underscores just how unreliable he can be. It's great to have a pitcher with the ability to throw a shutout but not if that means they're going to get lit up the next time out.
Managers, coaches and front office executives alike would prefer to know what they're going to get out of someone as opposed to wondering on a daily basis. A mediocre pitcher with an ERA in the 4's but does the same thing every single start has more value than a guy who will dominate one day but be terrible the next. At least with the consistent one you can plan on what else the team needs because you know what sort of production you're going to get.
Garcia got off to a tremendous start this season through three starts. He had a 1.86 ERA and looked excellent doing it. But start four was a dud. With most pitchers you'd write it off as a fluke, something that won't happen often. With Garcia, that's not the case. Those ugly starts could rear its head again in the future. And much more frequently than many would like.