Wow. Every pitcher gets torn up at some point, but, wow, usually not this bad.
This blog isn’t going to be long, in fact it’s going to about as short as Jamie Garcia’s start tonight (3.1 IP). Coming into the game undefeated with a 1.93 ERA, Garcia has shown he’s not suffering from the sophomore slump. In fact, until tonight, he has been an early Cy Young contender.
Then there was tonight…
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, before tonight Garcia had “allowed a total of 14 earned runs so far this season.”
He gave up 12 tonight. For anyone who cares (because it doesn’t really make that much of a difference at this point), one of those earned runs might be reversed. The reason why and more information of what happened in tonight’s game can be found here.
I can only think of three reasons for tonight’s outing by a usually reliable Garcia:
(P.S. Being young and inexperienced isn’t one of the reasons because he’s obviously been able to handle himself thus far)
1. The obvious conclusion most analysts bring up – he’s injured. Think about it, you’re in your second year having the type of season pitchers dream about…in your mind nothing is going to ruin that. So, whatever pain you feel, whatever click you hear, whatever tightness you have…you probably stay quiet and hope for the best. I’m not saying Garcia’s hurt, I’m just saying it’s possible.
2. He was (or has been) tipping his pitches. Maybe Colorado looked at his tapes beforehand and saw something. Usually, if an established pitcher gets rocked this hard and it isn’t because of injury, then it’s because they started tipping pitches.
3. Rick Ankiel syndrome. Just to be clear, this is the absolute worst case scenario and the least likely. Most fans reading this know the story of the pitcher-turned-outfielder Rick Ankiel by now so I’m not going to repeat it. But, long story short, his rookie year he was awesome, beloved and had the whole baseball world talking about how he was going to become one of the greats. Then, in the playoffs, this happened. I’ll show you. Oh wait, apparently I can’t show you because the video has been taken down from the web. That’s how bad it was. Four runs, two hits, four walks and five wild pitches in one inning.
Again, I doubt this was the case with Jamie. As an optimist, I’d like to say he just had a terrible, terrible outing and he’ll bounce back five days from now. As a realist, I say he was probably tipping pitches. As a cynic, I’d say he could be injured. Let’s hope it’s one of the first two.