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Philadelphia Phillies at St. Louis Cardinals: Cole Hamels and Jaime Garcia

I could be wrong, but Jaime Garcia is the first pitcher I can ever remember cutting his walk rate by a third—to 2.3 per nine innings, even—and getting, for his troubles, the suggestion that he was having control problems. 

Garcia actually cut his pitches per plate appearance down from 3.75 to 3.65 in 2011—well below the Major League average—but with his .324 BAbip came more plate appearances, and it only took a few of those five inning, 90 pitch outings (by my count he had seven, with several more on the cusp) for the story to be born, now that he was a legitimate contender for staff ace and not the DL refugee on a de facto innings limit. 

In any case, in 2011 Garcia struck out three batters for every one he walked, allowed just 15 home runs in nearly 200 innings, and got a ton of ground balls. He's a very good pitcher—at home and on the road, in 2010 and 2011, and presumably in the regular season and the playoffs.

Admittedly he's not quite Cole Hamels, who managed to get his K:BB ratio all the way up to 4.41 this season—good for fifth in the National League and third on the Phillies. But this is far from a mismatch.

Current Series

4 game series vs Phillies @ Citizens Bank Park

Sat 10/01 WP: Roy Halladay (1 - 0)
LP: Kyle Lohse (0 - 1)
6 - 11 loss
Sun 10/02 WP: Octavio Dotel (1 - 0)
SV: Jason Motte
LP: Cliff Lee (0 - 1)
5 - 4 win

Philadelphia Phillies
@ St. Louis Cardinals

Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011, 5:07 PM EDT
Busch Stadium

Cole Hamels vs Jaime Garcia

Sunny. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.


Complete Coverage >

Wed 10/05 6:07 PM EDT