Jaime Garcia goes deep fanning six in loss to Oakland A's.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Cardinals didn't have rookie Alex Reyes to rely upon, coming out the bullpen, to back-up starter Jaime Garcia, in the final game against the Oakland Athletics. Reyes made his debut start the night before in Game Two. J Garcia did go deep in the game yesterday, fanning six, only spent 95 pitches with 63 strikeouts for seven innings. But, as he had done in his two starts prior, he gave up home runs. Yesterday's game it was for five earned runs. In August, In his last three starts, he has given up a total 7 HR/16 ER early in the game mapping out a course for the Cardinals offense. Only one of those games, on the road, was the offense able to overcome the lead J Garcia had given up to the opposition.
He gave up two homers early in his start to Kris Davis for a two-run home run in the first. In the third, Stephen Vogt stung him with a three-hole shot.
J Garcia will be a free agent in 2017. The Cardinals have a team option for the left-hander, $12 MM with a $500,000 buyout for next season. They exercised his option for 2016. I believe his days with St. Louis are numbered and the Cardinals will exercise their buyout for 2017. His ERA has slowly elevated through the course of this season: April/3.73; May/3.18; June/5.40; July/4.86; and, August/5.06. Overall, he is 10-10/4.46 ERA this season. In 2015, his first complete season since 2012, battling arm issues and major surgeries for the two seasons in-between. Last season he closed 10-6/2.43 ERA.
The Cardinals have already seen two starters go down this season. Michael Wacha, currently on the DL with shoulder inflammation which sidelined him most of his 2014. Wacha is not expected to return this season. Should he be cleared later in September, he would be placed in the bull pen. Rookie Luke Weaver as called up from Memphis Triple-A to replace him in the rotation. Reyes, who was called-up just prior to Weaver, was brought from the bullpen to make his debut as starter Saturday night to replace Mike Leake. Leake has been diagnosed with shingles. There should be word today if Leake will have to be placed on the DL so the Cardinals are able to plan accordingly.
"IF" J Garcia is having issues, again. Which, by watching his delivery, his command is not what we saw last season. The Cardinals have no viable options available to replace him in the rotation. The first of August, his first two starts, he did go eight innings in the back-to-back games. August 5, an 8 IP three hit shutout with 11 strikeouts. August 10, 8 IP/1 HR/2 ER with four strikeouts. Since - his record mentioned above. In his 25 game starts, he has had a dozen quality starts. This month he is 3-2. Will we see him back in rare form by his next start? He's capable; however, his consistency to do so this season has been sporadic at best.
However, J Garcia was not the only starter to be handed a loss at home in the past six game at home. He is responsible for two of the four losses handed to the Cardinals while home at Busch Stadium. Adam Wainwright and reliever Matt Bowman were among that number. It continues to be a mystery as to why the Cardinals have such a poor home record, 30-37. They still are the best in both leagues with a 38-24 on the road.
Cardinals did inch their way close to the A's early lead. In the first, facing A's rookie Andrew Triggs, Stephen Piscotty connected for a RBI single. In Triggs third, Matt Carpenter slugged out another home run for the Cardinals 17 game HR streak.
Lead-off Carpenter was 3-4/1 HR/1 RBI/2-2B with three runs. In the sixth, Brandon Moss added a RBI on a sac-fly. Triggs closed with 6 IP/1 HR/3 ER/8 SO. In the seventh, A's Ryan Dull gave up a double to Alberto Rosario for a RBI seeing the A's lead cut to one run. Cardinals Jonathan Broxton gave up two more earned runs in the eighth to give the A's their 7-4 lead; which, the Cardinals were not able to overcome. J Garcia was handed his 10 loss. Rookie Triggs got his first major league win as a starter. Ryan Madson earned his 27 save. The Cardinals closed their homestand 2-4.
CARDINALS BACK-UP CATCHER ALBERTO ROSARIO WAS ON THE CASE
Yadier Molina had a day off yesterday with Alberto Rosario as backstop for J Garcia. In the third, he robs Danny Valencia of a stolen base attempt.
The Cardinals did have some positives in Game Three against the A's. Just not enough to get a home win. The hit the road and back to their winning ways. For this season, just too bad the Cardinals don't finish out the season away from Busch Stadium. Trust me when I say, many Cardinals fans are not happy with management or the organization as a whole. The Cardinals are not at the top of the NL Central this season and a very bitter pill for some to take. Even though, through my own "rose-colored glasses", the season is not over yet. Cardinals still have a chance at a Wild Card bid. But, taking off those glasses, they need to play the best ball of their season going forward. I for one, expect no less because I know they are quite capable in doing so.
ON THE ROAD TO MILWAUKEE FOR GAME ONE TONIGHT, 6:20 CST.
The Cardinals head out of St. Louis to face the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Carlos Martinez (12-7/3.13 ERA) will face Brewers Zach Davis (10-6/4.06 ERA). The last the Cardinals were at Miller Park, they took the series, 2-1 are 4-2 for the two series in Milwaukee. The last Davis faced the Cardinals at home, Memorial Day weekend, he was the losing starter in that series. At Miller Park, Martinez holds a 0.69 ERA in his 13 innings facing the Brew Crew. With the Cardinals, for the most part, hitting much better during the second half of this season, they need Martinez to return to the hill with his past very strong performance.