Judging by his postgame demeanor, it was hard to believe it had been nearly a year between wins for St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia.
“This is a big ‘W’ for the team is how I see it,” said Garcia, who last recorded a win June 15, 2014 when the Cardinals beat the Washington Nationals.
“I was trying to do my best to keep some balls down. I made a mistake in the first inning–something that should never happen. I was late covering first base,” said Garcia. “That was my bad right there. The other guy who got a double, it was a good pitch and he put a good swing on it. There’s really nothing you can do about it but continue to compete and stay in the game. I don’t think–there’s a little emotion just like any game, I don’t think there was any difference being at home. I just trying to stay out there competing.”
The left-hander did show some emotion after he induced Nick Ahmed to ground into 6-4-3 to strand an Arizona runner at third and end the 6th inning with the 6-4 score in tact.
“You try to not show emotion or not let emotions get to you before it happens, but after it happens you kind of get excited for your team.”
Garcia finished with a line of 6 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned runs, 5 strikeouts, and 1 home run on 91 pitches/57 strikes.
“I just like winning, I just like winning. This team’s on a good roll,”–that’s how Matt Belisle summed things up after he took over for Garcia to start the 7th inning. He came within one out of completing the first three inning-save for the Cardinals since Joel Piniero did so in August of 2008.
“It was just fun,” smiled Belisle. “It was a great opportunity, awesome win with the boys. That was a great grind–it was one of those games you look up and think the last at-bat, it’s going to go right down to it. Fun to be part of it. I just love contributing any way.”
He threw 47 pitches before a walk and error put runners and second and third base. Seth Maness got a ground ball to Kolten Wong to end the game.
“Great job Maner, great job Groundball Machine,” shared Belisle on his thoughts as Maness closed it out. “It’s never over til it’s over. There were a lot of things I did well, but there’s a lot of things I didn’t like. You come out of that ballgame, that’s part of our game–it’s never over til it’s over but the Little Groundball Machine did it again.”
photo credit: Jeff Curry, Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports