Jaime Garcia Rolling Toward Best Start Since Spring

The story of the Philadelphia Phillies' postseason was supposed to be pitching, just as pitching was the Phillies' story during the regular season.

Well, aside from Cliff Lee's semi-meltdown in Game 2 of their Division Series against the Cardinals, their pitching has been outstanding: first Roy Halladay in Game 1, then the bullpen in Game 2, and now Cole Hamels in Game 3.

But in this series, nobody has pitched better than Jaime Garcia.

As you'll recall, Tony La Russa went to great pains to ensure that Chris Carpenter, rather than Garcia, would start two games in this series if it goes five games.

La Russa's prime motivation was probably for Garcia to pitch at home, where he's been significantly better, ERA-wise anyway, than on the road in his young career. But La Russa might also have been swayed by Garcia's relative lack of success later in the season. Garcia's made five starts this season with Game Scores above 65, and all five came well before the All-Star break:

IP H R ER BB SO HR Pitches GScore
May 6 9 2 0 0 1 8 0 102 90
April 3 9 4 1 0 2 9 0 102 86
June 3 8 5 1 1 1 8 0 94 77
May 17 8 5 1 0 1 5 0 103 74
April 9 6 4 1 1 1 9 1 82 68

 

As well as Garcia has pitched this season, memories can be fleeting and it's been a while since Garcia has done anything to make La Russa or Dave Duncan think he'd be capable of shutting down the Phillies for six innings.

But of course that's exactly what he's done: six innings, three hits, zero walks, zero runs.

Sometimes you just have to wait for the performance to catch up with the numbers.

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