By Evan Brunell
The Cardinals believe they have identified a mechanical flaw in Jaime Garcia‘s delivery, which may be the culprit in his 6.00 ERA in his last four starts, vaulting his season ERA from 3.01 to 3.42.
“He’s getting himself out of balance,” pitching coach Dave Duncan told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “and I think he finally realizes he needs to do something about it.”
So what does Garcia need to do? He has to maintain proper balance during his windup and pitching motion, as improper balance is causing the left-hander not to finish his pitches correctly.
Duncan pointed the issue out to Garcia on Sunday, showing the 25-year-old that about half of Garcia’s fastballs in Saturday’s loss were straight, lacking its usual late downward movement. Duncan also pointed out that Garcia has become predictable against left-handed hitters.
Saturday, in particular, illustrated the issue when Carlos Gonzalez andTodd Helton tallied five RBIs as lefty hitters. Duncan specifically cited Gonzalez, who hit a two-strike slider for a home run just two innings after the same pitch was sent to the warning track by Gonzalez.
The Cardinals are unsure if Garcia will make his next start or be skipped against the Cubs. If Garcia is skipped or moved around, it would allow him to face the Brewers during the Aug. 30-Sept. 1 series, which will be pivotal in the NL Central race.