It had been a long time coming for St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia. Not since May 6, 2011 had the left-hander thrown a complete game but this afternoon he did just that and established a new career high in strikeouts for a game in the process.
“It was awesome, yeah,” agreed Garcia to one assessment of his performance, adding that he didn’t pay much attention to taking a n0-hitter midway through the game. “I enjoy it right now. But during the game, I try not to pay attention to what’s going on behind me and just focus on the next pitch. That’s the mentality I try to have every time I take the mound.”
Garcia struck out 13 batters–seven of which were caught looking, as the Cardinals beat Milwaukee 7-0 at Busch Stadium. Right fielder Domingo Santana’s two-out single in the 6th inning was the only hit he allowed on the day.
“Obviously, once the game’s over–I’m not going to lie, I do enjoy it,” continued Jaime. “It was a fun game. My defense did an unbelievable job behind me. Yadi did a great job calling the game. It was fun. Fun to be out there and we needed that win, I’m glad I was able to help the team.”
“You know, I think it’s funny because we’ve said it often–how every time he walks out there he has the potential to throw a no-hitter and people kind of laugh at that,” pointed out Mike Matheny. “They just don’t see how odd and rare his stuff is. But when he’s got it all going, like he did today it was basically, it was a lot of sinker/change-up and then was effective with the breaking ball. But he controlled the game and controlled the movement today and put it where he wanted to.
“It’s just amazing what he can make the ball do. When he’s in a good rhythm, what we just saw right there, is something he’s capable of doing. Getting those results every time, because there were just a couple of hard hit balls, but even some of the soft ones can find their way through. Guys made plays for him, that helps too but overall, this is what we expect to see.”
It was the first win of the season for Jaime Garcia (1-0) who becomes the first left-handed pitcher in franchise history to record at least 13 strikeouts and throw a one-hit shutout in the same game.
photo credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports