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.