Everyone knew of the Cardinals struggles with hitting coming into Game 2 of the NLDS with Washington, but manager Mike Matheny’s move to pull starting pitcher Jaime Garcia for a pinch hitter in the second inning was a bit of a head scratcher. However, after the game Matheny noted that Garcia was having shoulder issues and it was time to get him out of the game. The timing of the move paid off and Lance Lynn came up big.
The Cardinals had a 2-1 lead with two runners on and one out, when Skip Schumaker came up to bat for Garcia. Even the radio announcers John Rooney and Mike Shannon mentioned how this was Matheny’s move to go for the kill shot and kick start the offense, but I sensed some uncertainty in the move. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a pitcher come out of the game in the second inning for a pinch hitter with the lead. However, the move needed to be made as Garcia expains when the shoulder issue flared up and never got better.
Garcia thought it was nothing more than fatique and he didn’t think it would be a problem. Garcia felt he could go and never thought about telling the coaches.
AUDIO Matheny and Garcia talk about his shoulder problems (2:00)