Last night the Marlins started left-hander Jarlin Garcia against the Mets. It was his first big league start after 70 relief appearances. He had pitched wonderfully in long relief so far and the Fish made the call to put him in the rotation. Smart call, as Garcia began the game with six no-hit innings against the red hot Mets.
Even better: he needed only 77 pitches to do it. That was seemingly good news, because here’s what Don Mattingly said about Garcia before the game:
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Garcia — who pitched six and four innings in his two relief appearances this year — is stretched out enough to throw at least 90 pitches Wednesday.
“After that,” Mattingly said, “it will depend on what type of game he’s having. But he could go 105 or 110 pitches if he needed.
Guess that was a but optimistic, because those 77 pitches would be all he’d get. After Garcia left five Miami relievers combined to give up four runs on five hits and two walks, blowing the combined no-hitter and the ballgame.
It’s hard to blame Mattingly, though. The manager’s job is to help his team win, and Mattingly saw stuff during the game that made him question the wisdom of Garcia going longer. Here’s the Marlins skipper after the game:
“It’s real easy, honestly, but I know it’s not popular. I know he’s not going to make it . . . His last two innings he had deep counts, and you could tell he was laboring.”
Garcia was 32 and had multiple 200-inning seasons under his belt, sure, see what he’s got. For a 25-year-old kid who was making his first start, there’s no sense in pushing him and possibly risking him getting hurt.
I know people like to see no-hitters, but we should file this under “Stuff That is Perfectly Normal and Understandable in Today’s Game But Would Make Someone Who Woke Up From a Ten-Year Coma Absolutely Go Nuts.”
Wait, do we have a file for that already? I think we may need to make up that folder. Linda, could you do that for me? And then hold my calls as I prep for my next meeting. Thanks.