Garcia brilliant early, but struggles in later innings
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 24: Jaime Garcia #54 of the St. Louis Cardinals throws a pitch during game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 24, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) By Andy Lyons
(BaseballStL) – Dominant. That’s how Jaime Garcia has looked during his first innings in both of his two starts this season. But Saturday he earned his first victory since May 17, 2013.
The 27-year-old lefty struck out 3 of the first 7 batters in Saturday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds and gave up his first run in the fifth inning. Before giving up the 2-out single to Zack Cozart to score Brayan Pena, Garcia had thrown just 53 pitches through 4.2 innings.
Comparing Garcia to his lefty counterpart, Tony Cingrani, threw 91 pitches through 6.0 innings work, giving up 4 runs.
Garcia ran into trouble in the sixth with runners on first and third and nobody out. Brandon Phillips drove the ball the deep right center to plate one run. But Garcia received stellar defense from Mark Ellis and struck out Jay Bruce to end his evening. Carlos Martinez picked his teammate up by earning his 12th hold of the season by striking out former Cardinal Ryan Ludwick.
Garcia pitched just 5.2 innings compared to 7.0 on Sunday, but the lefty gave his team the chance to win and unlike Sunday, the bullpen back him up for his first win since 2013.