After an ugly camp statistically,
but not physically, left-hander Jaime Garcia -- whose last win came on Sept. 3
-- made his first appearance of the season Sunday.
When the winds blowing
toward right field at Busch Stadium suggested a shootout, Garcia instead threw a
2-0 shutout against San Diego.
Garcia allowed just four
singles and fanned a career-high nine after a spring training in which, he
allowed 37 hits in 17 innings before his final start. But, pitching coach Dave
Duncan said, "His stuff was good. He wasn't always making quality pitches with
"Part of spring is
refining all your pitches. As the spring went on, he never got worse. He always
got better. He never once was disappointed in his stuff. He was disappointed in
his location. When you're a four-pitch pitcher, it takes spring training to get
ready to pitch."
Garcia admitted he was
letting his head get in the way.
"I was thinking too much
(in the spring)," he said. "I was thinking things I'm not supposed to be
thinking. But I wasn't worried at all because I knew I had the stuff."
A 13-game winner in his rookie
season, Garcia was shut down for the final three weeks last year because of arm
fatigue although he was not reported to be hurt.
"It worked out good,"
said Garcia. "I wasn't hurt but maybe I go back and pitch those last games and
get hurt. You never know."
Note: To read about Garcia’s feat in a
historical context, check out The
Cardinal Nation Blog.
Apr. 4 vs. PIRATES: Kyle Lohse (4-8, 6.55) vs. Charlie Morton (2-12, 7.57) 7:15
p.m. CDT (FOX Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Cardinals Radio
Manager Tony La Russa,
who has used the strategy in several other seasons, batted the pitcher eighth
and 3B Daniel Descalso ninth on Sunday. Much of the reason was because LF Matt Holliday, the cleanup hitter, was out of the lineup after having had an
appendectomy. 1B Albert Pujols, the No. 3 hitter in the lineup, became the
cleanup hitter every other time the lineup turned over. Descalso had one in
three at-bats and helped an eighth-inning run besides playing well in the field.
LF Matt Holliday was in
the clubhouse two days after his appendectomy but is at least several days away
from playing. The Cardinals will wait until later in the week to determine if
they should put Holliday on the disabled list. They are operating with 24
players for the time being.
1B Albert Pujols
celebrated the 10th anniversary of his major league debut Saturday by hitting
his 95th homer at new Busch Stadium, which is in its sixth season. Pujols hit 94
homers at the former Busch Stadium in the five seasons he played in that ball
SS Ryan Theriot drove in
his first run as a Cardinal with an eighth-inning single Sunday. Theriot did not
play particularly well in the field during the first three games of the season.
OF Lance Berkman, who
battled elbow and calf issues this spring, played his second consecutive
complete game in right field. Berkman seems to be running well and had three
singles in 10 at-bats for the first series.
BY THE NUMBERS:
4 - Double plays grounded into in
the first series by 1B Albert Pujols. He hit into three in the first game of the
season, tying his career worst.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"You've got to get off
zero. It hangs around awhile and all of a sudden it gets bigger than it should
be. Over the long season, if you're good enough, your record is going to reflect
it. But you don't want to be walking around with an anvil on your
- Manager Tony La Russa, on his
team's first win after two losses.
RHP Adam Wainwright (Tommy John
surgery in February 2011) went on the 60-day disabled list March 25. He will
miss the entire 2011 season.
INF Nick Punto (hernia surgery in
February 2011) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22. He
hopes to return in late April.
LF Matt Holliday (appendectomy)
underwent the procedure April 1. He figures to be out at least a week or two,
and the team was weighing whether to place him on the disabled
How should the Cardinals deal with Holliday’s absence? Vote for what you think the team
should do at The Cardinal Nation Blog.