Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brewers Hammer Garcia, Cardinals

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Brewers Hammer Garcia, Cardinals

Article excerpt

The man who started Thursday night's game here against Milwaukee is slated to face the Chicago Cubs here next Tuesday and the Giants at San Francisco on the Sunday after that as the Cardinals attempt to stay relevant in the National League wild-card race. But the way lefthander Jaime Garcia has been pitching lately might give one pause.

Garcia, a reliable starter most of the season, suffered his fourth straight loss Thursday, falling to a Milwaukee Brewers team he normally devours. He entered with an 11-5 record and 2.61 earned run average against the Brewers. He departed after only 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs, eight hits and two stolen bases as the Brewers handed the Cardinals yet another Busch Stadium loss, 12-5. The game was not necessarily as close as the final score would indicate.

But Garcia will be out there again on Tuesday and the Sunday after that, according to manager Mike Matheny. "We need him to pitch," said Matheny.

"He gets into a groove, he finds it, he's in the bottom half of the zone ... the next thing you know, he's a guy you want on the mound. It's just helping him get there.

"When he's right, he's right ..."

Matheny didn't finish that sentence. He didn't say what others might have been thinking about when Garcia is not right. But Matheny admitted he was a bit flummoxed as how to explain what happened with Garcia on Thursday

"He had good sink early," said Matheny. "I thought he was really going to roll for us. He had movement, so I don't know exactly how to define tonight's game. It's just one of those that got out of hand."

The Cardinals are an almost unfathomable 30-38 at home despite turning four double plays Thursday. And there were a few other highlights, as it were.

Veteran minor-leaguer Jose Martinez got his first major-league hit, a run-scoring single in the eighth. Veteran major-leaguer Brandon Moss got his first hit in 30 at-bats later in the eighth. And the Cardinals won a challenge to keep the 13th run off the board in the top of the eighth.

About 5,000 of the announced crowd of 40,416 stayed to the end. And were very polite about it, in start contrast to the PNC Park crowd the other night in Pittsburgh which turned on the Pirates, with Matheny commenting that he had been disappointed in the crowd's reaction.

Matheny was surprised to be asked if he those who stayed, or had left early, even would have considered booing what transpired, or didn't transpire, on Thursday. "That's not our fan base," he said.

For the first time in a while, the Cardinals tumbled out of what would be the second wild-card spot, drifting a game behind wild- card leader San Francisco and a half-game behind the New York Mets, both of whom were idle.

Over his last four games, Garcia (10-12) has given up 18 runs in 20 2/3 innings and, even in his last win on Aug. 23, he was cuffed for five runs in five frames. …

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