The Cardinals Will Need Garcia to Ride the Momentum from his Last Start in order to Even Series with Cubs
Last Thursday, Jaime Garcia pitched the game of his life vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, coming this close to pitching a no-hitter. After a rough first game against the Cubs, the Cardinals will rely on Garcia to bring his best tonight.
Through his first two starts against the Brewers and Atlanta Braves, Garcia has been dominant in 14 out of his 15 innings pitched. In the start against the Braves, Garcia pitched five scoreless innings, just having to work around a poor 3rd inning when he allowed four runs on five hits. In fact, in those 14 scoreless innings, Garcia only allowed ONE HIT, the infamous Domingo Santana single in the 6th inning last Thursday. In that span, he also has 19 strikeouts and only four walks allowed.
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The beginning of 2016 has truly been a remarkable start for Garcia, but his first true test will come tonight vs. the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are second in Major League Baseball in runs scored, behind the Cardinals, but that is still much higher than Atlanta and Milwaukee, who sit at #22 and #24 in runs scored respectively.
If Garcia is to have success tonight, he will have to avoid the disastrous inning that occurred in Atlanta and keep his walks at a minimum, just as he has done so far this season. No one is expecting him to keep up this dominant clip, but if Garcia can provide the Cardinals five or six innings of scoreless or one-run ball, he will likely be in line to win the game. The Cubs are starting Jason Hammel, who is not exactly a Cy Young candidate, and the Cardinals offense is due after slumping last night.
Garcia posted a 2.43 ERA in 2015, and right now he is right on that pace. At 2.40 this season, Garcia has kept the pressure on hitters and also kept expectations high from the Cardinals fanbase. If Garcia can keep the Cubs at bay tomorrow, he will definitely have baseball buzzing about his 2016 start.
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