Jaime Garcia was pulled from his Game 2 start after just two innings and the Cardinals have decided to remove him from the playoff roster after the left-hander complained of shoulder problems.
And that’s where it starts to get interesting, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Garcia was apparently pitching at less than full strength, but didn’t tell anyone that until after his poor start against the Nationals. General manager John Mozeliak called the team’s lack of knowledge about Garcia’s issue “frustrating” and it sounds like that’s an understatement.
Strauss reports that “several teammates were incensed to learn that Garcia started such a monumental game if indeed compromised physically.” On the other hand, Strauss also writes that “a faction within the organization has remained skeptical about the severity of Garcia’s condition.”
Which, when taken together, paints a very odd picture. Garcia’s teammates are angry he pitched hurt and Garcia’s team doesn’t believe he was all that hurt? Doesn’t that seem like it has to be one or the other, at the very least?
Garcia, who missed two months earlier this season with a shoulder injury, underwent an MRI exam yesterday. If he’s indeed removed from the NLDS roster he’ll be ineligible to rejoin the roster until the World Series.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.