Cheap Seats

Garcia's strong start puts the Cardinals in driver's seat

Jaime Garcia's fantastic home start Monday against the Reds puts the Cardinals in excellent position to pull all the stops in the National League wildcard one-game playoff.

The Cardinals could afford to use start either Kyle Lohse, Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter and use the other two starters for three innings each if they needed to. With days off in the schedule and the format of the divisional series, Garcia could pitch game of the NLDS at Busch Stadium and by the time game two rolled around, any starters the Birds had to call on who pitched three innings or less ought to be refreshed and ready to go.

While his road starts have been roundly criticized, Garcia is unbeaten at home this year with an ERA right around 2.00. He was efficient and effective Monday, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk while striking out six. And that plays into the Redbirds' hands because the NLDS calls for the first two games to be played Sunday and Monday in St. Louis if the Cardinals beat Atlanta with the next three games