St. Louis Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia is one of the game’s best
After missing the first part of the 2015 season with an injury, St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia is pitching like an All-Star.
Jaime Garcia was a major question mark even when he returned to the St. Louis Cardinals’ rotation last month after posting several up-and-down seasons of-late.
Suffice to say that those questions have been answered after the left-hander turned in a seven-inning, one-run effort to lead the Cardinals over the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night before leaving with a groin injury.
Garcia told reporters after the game that he intends to make his next start, despite tweaking his groin and, so far, there’s no reason to suggest anything to the contrary.
"“Something grabbed me there,” Garcia told MLB.com. “We’ll see how it feels, and it should be OK, hopefully.”"
So, assuming he’s healthy and ready to roll next week for St. Louis, manager Mike Matheny may have the best 1-2-3 combination in the National League – if not all of Major League Baseball.
Despite not having Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis Cardinals have relied heavily upon a pair of young right-handers in Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, both of whom are in the midst of career-best seasons.
Wacha has already matched his combined win total from each of the previous two seasons with nine victories so far in 2015 to go along with a sterling 2.85 ERA and an equally-impressive 3.45 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Martinez, meanwhile, is finally starting to live up to the promise that made him a coveted talent during his time in the Minor Leagues.
The hard-throwing righty has eight of his 12 career wins this season and has pitched into the sixth in every start he’s made since May 15 against Detroit.
Enter Garcia, the clear-cut best left-handed option in the rotation for St. Louis moving forward.
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The 28-year-old southpaw, a former 22nd-round draft pick of the Redbirds, boasts a 1.69 earned run average in his first seven starts of the year, spanning 48 innings of work.
During those four-dozen frames, he’s allowed just 35 hits and nine earned runs while striking out 32 and walking just seven. He’s never going to lead the league in punchouts, but when he’s locating well, he can induce ground balls with the best of them.
As pointed out by our friends over at The Birds on the Bat, over the course of the past month, Garcia ranks third in Major League Baseball with his 1.54 earned run average, 15th in terms of opponents’ batting average (.201) and sixth in WHIP (0.780).
In short, he’s been one of the game’s best pitchers in the month of June.
Now, we hold our collective breath and hope that the groin tweak doesn’t derail the consistent success Jaime Garcia has found with the St. Louis Cardinals this season.
Breathe, everyone. We all just need to breathe.