Cardinals 10, Nationals 1
With all those minor leaguers the Washington Nationals were
putting on the field, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny needed to make
To the Cardinals’ minor league camp.
Jaime Garcia pitched eight sharp innings against a young
Nationals lineup, leading St. Louis to a 10-1 victory
Midway through the game nearly all the Cardinals’ regulars had
three at-bats, prompting Matheny to request reinforcements.
”I just didn’t like the whole look of it all to be honest with
you,” Matheny said. ”Cold day. We’ve had plenty of things here in
the last few days make us a little gun shy. Not knowing who they
were firing out there at us. All of it led me in the direction of,
let’s get (the regulars) a little bit of work and get them
The health of Garcia’s arm was one of the Cardinal’s biggest
concerns entering the spring training, but he hasn’t experienced
any setbacks in Florida. He finished camp by allowing one run on
six hits while striking out eight against a Washington team that
did not contain a member of its 40-man roster.
”I’m right at the place that I need to be to start the
season,” said Garcia, who said he didn’t know prior to the game he
would be facing a bunch of youngsters. ”I didn’t really care, I
was focusing on going out there and making my pitches.”
The fact that Garcia stymied a Washington lineup that had
combined for only 20 major league at-bats this spring entering
Wednesday didn’t faze Matheny, either.
”I think it has been a very good spring for him right from the
start,” Matheny said. ”Once he got going right in his mind, his
stuff just follows along.”
Garcia managed only 20 starts last year because arm trouble
forced him to miss more than two months in the middle of the
regular season and later shut him down early in the playoffs.
The lefty pitched two innings during last season’s playoff run
in which the Cardinals came-up one game shy of a repeat trip to the
World Series. Offseason shoulder surgery was an option, but Garcia
chose rehabilitation without undergoing the procedure.
Garcia made all six of his scheduled starts this spring, posting
a 2.48 ERA over 29 innings.
”The biggest thing was being able to go out there every fifth
day, being able to trust your stuff, and get yourself in a position
where you are ready to go for the season,” Garcia said.
The Cardinals jumped on the Nationals for three runs in each of
the first three innings on Wednesday. In the fourth inning Tony
Cruz slapped an RBI single through the right side of a a drawn-in
Nationals infield, putting the Cardinals up 10-1 and giving all
eight position players in the St. Louis starting line-up at least
Shane Robinson, Daniel Descalso, Pete Kozma and Ryan Jackson all
enjoyed multihit games for the Cardinals. Batting leadoff, Robinson
also scored twice and drove in two more.
After spending most of the spring pitching with Class-A Potomac,
Taylor Jordan started for Washington and allowed nine runs – seven
earned – on 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings.
”I didn’t think I would be nervous and then I got out there and
it was like, eh – stuff starts flying by,” Jordan said.
”Especially when I got up there to bunt and I hadn’t faced a
pitcher since sophomore year in high school. I felt so awkward up
NOTES: 3B David Freese (back), who will start the season on the
DL, said he will not break camp with the Cardinals. Instead, he
will remain in Jupiter to play in some minor league games. … LF
Matt Holliday returned to the St. Louis starting lineup one day
after being scratched because of tightness in his rib cage.
Holliday went 1 for 1 with two walks on Wednesday. … RF Carlos
Beltran was given the day off after returning to the field on
Tuesday against the Mets. Beltran has been battling a toe injury.
… Lance Lynn will get his final spring training start on Thursday
against Miami in what will be the final home game of the spring for
St. Louis. … The Nationals starting lineup featured four position
players with spring batting averages of .000. They were a combined
0 for 3 prior to Wednesday. Bench coach Randy Knorr managed the
Nationals in Jupiter.