For as much flak as Cardinals manager Mike Matheny takes from fans and myself when it comes to the handling of his pitching staff, a tip of the cap is in order for the skipper after his bold move to remove Jaime Garcia early and turn the game over to Alex Reyes.
The move paid off and Reyes kept the Cubs at bay until Brandon Moss could deliver a two-run homer to break a tie and beat Chicago 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Garcia lasted just 1.2 innings, the shortest outing of his career. He gave up two runs and three hits, including Fowler’s seventh leadoff homer of the season.
Reyes (2-1) won with 4.1 innings of scoreless relief as he was effectively wild. He somehow held the Cubs at bay who left ten runners in scoring position and went 1-for-8 with a chance to drive in runs.
Reyes walked six, but got a key strikeout of Kris Bryant to escape Garcia’s bases-loaded mess in the second. He then held the Cubs hitless in four chances with a runner in scoring position.
As far as Garcia, he’s done. He’s wiped out. He’s tired. If he’s not hurt during a season, then he can’t handle the work load of a full season. Another John Mozeliak signing disaster and Matheny had to thrust a rookie into the fire.
Now, how Matheny moves forward will be interesting to watch in the coming days.