Jaime Garcia has stunk on ice away from Busch Stadium this year — he’s 2-5 with a 6.19 ERA away from home and a 2-2 with a 2.63 in St. Louis — so Mike Matheny is thinking of doing something about it:
Matheny said he would always “consider” changes to the rotation that could involve shifting Garcia to more home starts. But for now, he and the Cardinals will try to continue to solve the mystery as they push toward the playoffs.
“I’m not going to tell you one way or another,” Matheny said when asked about potential changes. “We’re going to continue to work at it, even though we can’t really define it. We’ll see what happens. Right now we just go on the mindset that we can do something to help fix it.”
I liked that Matheny also went all Norman Dale with it and noted that “it’s 60 feet, six inches” from rubber to home on the road just like it is at home. Home/road stuff like this is always confusing given that it’s the same game. I know it’s a real thing for some guys, but I think that — separate and apart from talking about park effects which are a different subject — home/road splits gets talked up way more than they should. Probably because they’re so easily available.
With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.
95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.
In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.
Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.
The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.
The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.
The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.