Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia entered Saturday’s action with one of the top stat lines in all of Major League Baseball.
He had a 5-0 record, a 1.93 ERA, and a 57/13 K/BB ratio through his first 65 1/3 innings of the 2011 regular season.
Unfortunately, just about everything went wrong Saturday night at Denver’s Coors Field.
Garcia allowed the Rockies’ first five hitters to reach base and wound up surrendering six runs in the first inning alone. The start didn’t get any better in the second or third frames and Garcia was finally pulled in the fourth after allowing a career-high 12 runs and a career-high 11 hits. At one point he was issued an automatic ball for going to his mouth between pitches. Another time he flubbed a rundown that led to a Colorado score.
Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta did a big chunk of the damage, finishing 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBI. Ryan Spilborghs also had a big night, going 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored.
Garcia has great stuff and remains a top young arm, but regression can come quickly and the 24-year-old native of Mexico is now sporting a more realistic 3.28 ERA and 1.19 WHIP through 11 starts.
They played the Futures Game yesterday, pitting the top prospects from the United States against the top prospects from the rest of the world. You most likely missed it because, for reasons that have still yet to be adequately explained to me, the game takes place on Sunday afternoon, when literally all 30 major league teams are in action. Oh well.
If you did happen to see it, however, you saw a lot of bombast, as the two teams combined for eight home runs, with Team USA prevailing, 10-6. It was the United States’ eighth win in the past nine Futures Games.
Yusniel Diaz of the Dodgers system hit two homers — he was the first one to do that in a Futures Game since Alfonso Soriano did it back in 1999 — but Taylor Trammell of the Reds system was the game MVP following his 2-for-2 (HR, 3B) performance. Other highlights involved Reds pitching prospect Hunter Greene, who threw 19 fastballs among his 27 pitches, each and every one of them hitting triple digits, with one registering at 103.1 m.p.h. Not that velocity is everything: a 102.3 m.p.h. pitch he threw ended up being deposited over the fence for a two-run homer by Luis Alexander Basabe of the White Sox system.
Also of note was a homer from Ke’Bryan Hayes of the Pirates system. Notable for it breaking a tie and putting the U.S. up by two, but also notable because Ke’Bryan is the son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes. Feel old yet?
There was a lot of back and forth, and certainly a lot of bombast, but the U.S. took its final lead on a wild pitch. Here are some highlights:
Here’s hoping, in the future, the Futures Game is moved to Sunday evening or even Monday where people will have a better chance of seeing it.