Update (7:04 PM EDT): Garcia was removed due to a stomach virus, per the Cardinals.
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia was only able to last two innings during Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cubs. He worked around a one-out double to Jorge Soler in the first inning, but the Cardinals’ defense fell apart. The Cubs scored three runs without hitting a ball past the infield, and Jorge Soler added insult to injury when he blasted a two-run home run to center field to make it 5-1.
Garcia’s final line after 45 pitches: 2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. Lance Lynn took the hill in the third inning in relief, but ran into trouble of his own. He walked Anthony Rizzo to lead off the inning, then Starlin Castro hit a line drive to right field on a hit-and-run to put runners on the corners. Lynn bounced back to strike out Austin Jackson, but Miguel Montero was able to bring in a run on a ground out to make it 6-1.
Lynn was on track to start Game 4, but because he had to take over for Garcia in Game 2, the Cardinals may tab John Lackey start Game 4 instead, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes. They could also call on Tyler Lyons for a start.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.