Garcia, Cardinals hammered in Padres opener

Garcia was hit for four runs in three innings

An important road trip for the St. Louis Cardinals began with a decisive loss in San Diego Monday night.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Left-hander Jaime Garcia's problems on the road have been well documented. His earned run average on the road has been more than two runs higher than his ERA at home during his career (4.68 to 2.42), and, if typecast, Garcia was just what many people expected Monday night.

 

Garcia, after ducking out of first-inning trouble in San Diego when he got two strikeouts to strand the bases loaded, then surrendered two runs in each of the second and third innings, all scoring with two outs. Handed a 2-0 lead in the second by rookie shortstop Pete Kozma's triple, Kozma's first of three hits,

 

Garcia gave up six hits and four runs in the next two innings and took an early shower as the Cardinals were clobbered by the Padres 11-3.

Since coming off the disabled list after he recovered from a shoulder problem, Garcia has a 0.00 ERA in two home starts covering 15 1/3 innings, and a 8.74 ERA in three road starts, covering only 14 1/3 innings.

 

"He had a rough time getting people out today," manager Mike Matheny said. "When he's got everything working, he can be unhittable. Other times, when he's making mistakes over the plate or up in the zone, those don't turn out as good."

 

Matheny, exasperated, said Garcia still would be his starter on Saturday in Los Angeles although he admitted he had considered adjusting his rotation to have Garcia pitch at home and not on the road.

 

Asked why Garcia would be so different on the road, Matheny said, "I have no idea. If I did, then we'd do something to fix it. There's not a good explanation. It's 60 feet, 6 inches. But you can't deny it's something he's struggling with.

 

"We try to do what we can do proactively. We're not just sitting on our hands and doing nothing. There's only so much we can do. There's no way to explain it.

 

"His stuff should play anywhere."

 

The Cardinals, whose lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second wild-card spot in the National League shrank to one game, allowed 17 hits in absorbing the beatdown. But Garcia hasn't been the only starter having trouble on the road lately.

 

In their last 12 road games, counting a previous 10-game trip, no Cardinals starter has turned in a quality start.

 

In their last eight road games, the Cardinals have given up eight or more runs in five of them. They are 1-7 overall in those eight games.

 

The Cardinals had a shot in the seventh with the score 6-3, but left fielder Matt Holliday bounced into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

1B Lance Berkman will undergo additional surgery on his right knee Friday, ending his season and perhaps his career. Berkman returned to Houston, where he had his first surgery in May, and underwent his second MRI in less than three weeks on Monday, and it was determined that additional meniscus needed to be shaved from the knee. After Berkman recovered from the first surgery, he was hit in the knee by a pitch from Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw, and it got progressively worse. "Ever since I got hit in the knee by Kershaw I've been having issues with it grabbing whenever I get in certain positions," Berkman said. Berkman on Sunday told general manager John Mozeliak, manager Mike Matheny and the team's training staff that he was unable to hit left-handed because his front leg was not strong. "It may be arthritis and there's nothing else we can do," said Berkman, who had only 80 at-bats this year.

RHP Jake Westbrook had an MRI in St. Louis for his strained right oblique, and general manager John Mozeliak said, "We feel like we dodged a bullet." Westbrook will miss a start or two, but Mozeliak said there was every expectation that the 13-game winner would return to the rotation before the season is over.

RHP Lance Lynn, tied for the staff lead at 14 wins, will get RHP Jake Westbrook's start Thursday in Los Angeles as he exits a nearly three-week stay in the bullpen. Lynn allowed four runs in six innings against the Dodgers in a start in May, but he got the call in this game over rookie RHPs Trevor Rosenthal and Shelby Miller because of his experience in stressful situations. "A lot of thought went into it—just the whole scenario of being in L.A., against L.A., being where we are (in the standings) right now. That's a lot to throw on a young player," manager Mike Matheny said. "Lance has pitched in as many high-leverage situations as anybody, so we know that's not going to affect him. We believe in his stuff."

RHP Chris Carpenter, pitching in his third simulated game as he recovers from surgery to relieve a nerve condition affecting his shoulder, threw 70 pitches in a four-inning "game" and said he felt all his pitches were sharp, including a "baby changeup" he said he had been working on for 10 years. General manager John Mozeliak said he expected Carpenter to make one more simulated appearance, where he would get to 90 pitches before he would be ready to start.

LHP Jaime Garcia, whose spot in the rotation is shaky, gave up four runs and seven hits in three unimpressive innings Monday. Garcia said he wasn't plagued by any thoughts of the two-run-a-game difference in road earned run average compared to his home ERA. "Just a bad one," he said. "I didn't get the job done." Garcia (4-7) said he also was having no trouble with his shoulder.

By the Numbers:

3 - Number of hits Monday for rookie SS Pete Kozma, who had the best game of his young career.

Quote to Note:

"Unfortunately, this is the last resort. I gave it a go."

- 1B Lance Berkman, on the additional knee surgery that will end his season and possibly his career.

MEDICAL WATCH

3B David Freese (sprained left ankle) didn't play Sept. 9 but was back in the lineup Sept. 10.

RHP Jake Westbrook (strained right oblique) will miss a start or two but apparently will be able to pitch again this season.

1B Lance Berkman (sore right knee) is scheduled to undergo additional surgery Sept. 14 and is out for the season. His career might be over as well.

RHP Chris Carpenter (right shoulder surgery) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent what was believed to be season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. He threw a normal bullpen session Sept. 7 and faced hitters in a simulated game Sept. 10 in San Diego.

SS Rafael Furcal (torn ligament in right elbow) was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 31 and is out for the season. He might need Tommy John surgery, but he got a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sept. 4 in the hopes of avoiding having to go under the knife.

RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.

Link to boxscore: San Diego 11, St. Louis 3

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