St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia, who suffered an 8-1 setback at Washington on Aug. 30, will start Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Nationals on Monday. This time, he'll be pitching at Busch Stadium, where he tends to be much more successful. Garcia, who had come off the disabled list after recovering from shoulder soreness not long before that August start, allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings. "That start in Washington, I actually felt pretty good," Garcia said. "They have a really good lineup and a really good team, and I made a couple of mistakes and paid the consequences." Garcia gave up home runs to Washington Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth. One of the reasons Garcia is starting ahead of Chris Carpenter in Game 2 is his success at Busch Stadium. This year, Garcia is 4-2 with a 2.82 ERA in nine home starts, 3-5 with a 5.02 ERA in 11 road starts. In his career, Garcia is 20-11 with a 2.48 ERA at home and 14-12 with a 4.47 ERA on the road. The Cardinals are not in an unfamiliar position after Sunday's 3-2 loss in Game 1. They lost Game 1 of both the NLDS and the NL Championship Series last year before rallying to win those two series and then advancing to win the World Series. Many folks will be waiting to see if Cardinals manager Mike Matheny goes back to rookie shortstop Pete Kozma, who has had a rocky start both defensively and offensively in his first two postseason games. Kozma, brought up from Class AAA Memphis when Rafael Furcal suffered a torn right elbow ligament, has gone hitless and made several misplays in the field. One led to the now famous infield fly call made in the wild-card playoff game at Atlanta. Another was his failure Sunday to backhand a grounder hit by Washington's Michael Morse, who, after Kozma's error started the eighth inning, scored the tying run.
- Jaime Garcia