SAN DIEGO -- As of Wednesday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny maintained that despite Jaime Garcia's increasingly troublesome struggles on the road, the lefty is still scheduled to start Saturday against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
According to Matheny, Garcia threw a bullpen session Wednesday, and all indications are that there is nothing physically wrong with the 26-year-old that might explain his poor track record in starts away from Busch Stadium. As a result, the team is working with Garcia to change aspects of his routine on the road to better mimic what he does at home in the hopes that it will help resolve his puzzling road record.
Pitching coach Derek Lilliquist said the adjustments he and Garcia have been working on since Monday's three-inning, four-run showing at Petco Park are related more to the mental side of the game and Garcia's routine than on any mechanical issue, as there don't seem to be any glaring problems with Garcia's delivery.
"We just talked about carrying his home approach when he's on the road," Lilliquist said. "The emphasis is to work backward on your timing just like you do at home."
If Garcia can harness that routine ahead of Saturday's start, Cardinals fans have reason for optimism: He is 18-11 with a 2.42 ERA in 42 career home outings. If not, there remains cause for concern: He is just 13-12 with a 4.69 ERA in 44 career games away from Busch Stadium. Garcia has pitched just one game at Dodger Stadium in his career, a five-inning, eight-hit performance on April 14, 2011, in which he gave up two earned runs.