Matheny expects Garcia to be excited for first start -

Matheny expects Garcia to be excited for first start

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 By Brian Feldman, Baseball STL

VIERA, Fla. (Baseball STL) -- This is not an ordinary start for Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia.  He has a lot riding on every single pitch he throws from here to the end of the season.  This is the final guaranteed season of a four year contract he signed with the Cardinals back in July 2011.

The deal calls for a $11.5 million option in 2016 and a $12 million option in 2017.

?If the lefty is going to have any chance of having those years picked up he needs to pitch well and he needs to pitch...period.  Health is a factor.  Remaining healthy and strong is something else entirely.  So taking the ball today in Viera against the Nationals is the first step for him in showing the Cardinals he deserves a spot in the rotation.

Should the Cardinals expect some nerves?

"I was reading some of Marco (Gonzales)'s comments yesterday about how he was amped up and that just comes with competing," manager Mike Matheny said. "These guys should be excited because there's a lot on the line.  Every one of them.  I don't care who it is."

"I remember late in my career being just as anxious that first opportunity and it doesn't get any better the second opportunity.  Just playing at this level you're always on point.  You're ready," Matheny said.
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