St. Louis, MO (AP) - It may be one of the most surprising seasons anybody is having. Jaime Garcia, seemingly coming out of nowhere, is possibly the top candidate for the Cy Young this year, and he's pitching his Cardinals to a likely N.L. Central crown.
"I know a lot of people think Jaime came out of nowhere," admitted manager Tony LaRussa. "But, we knew he was capable of something like this. We weren't necessarily expecting it this year, but he's been really impressive and incredibly consistent."
Garcia is 19-2 so far this season with a 2.84 ERA. He's struck out 147 batters. And he's raising eyebrows around the league.
"I feel like I'm just in a real good zone," said Garcia. "I'm hitting my spots, and I'm keeping hitters off balance. That's the whole key. But, more importantly, I'm keeping my team in the game so that we have a good chance of winning every night. That's what I care about most. If I get the Cy Young, great. If I don't, but we end up winning the World Series, and I help contribute to that goal, then it's been a great year."
Some would say it's really not that much of a fluke of a season. Garcia showed flashes of brilliance last year in St. Louis, going 13-8 with a 2.70 ERA and striking out 132 batters. He certainly has a lot to look forward to, if he can keep this up. Garcia is just 24 years old, with a whole lot of upside.