You may have expected Masahiro Tanaka in Game 2 after Gerrit Cole starts in Game 1, but manager Aaron Boone revealed on Monday that Deivi Garcia will be getting his first career postseason start against the Rays on Tuesday night in San Diego.
“Super excited. When they finally told me I was going to get the ball for Game 2, what can I say, just so excited about it," Garcia told media members on Monday. "At the same time, very thankful for the opportunity.
“For me, it’s been a journey of preparing myself and doing everything I can to improve as a player and keep improving everyday. I was hoping for an opportunity to get a chance to get into a game like this at this level, especially now in the playoffs.”
The 21-year-old impressed the Yankees in his MLB debut this season, showcasing his crafty stuff on the mound as well as his attitude to go right at hitters off the rip.
“I think the way he’s pitched, one, and the way he’s handled himself and handled every situation so far," Boone said when asked about the decision on Garcia. "I just felt like a lot of good options there, ways we could’ve gone, but Deivi’s shown that I don’t [need to] worry about him handling it mentally, emotionally and all those things. I know he’s looking forward to it.”
However, Garcia was touched up a bit in his last two starts, giving up six earned to the Red Sox on Sep. 20 and four earned to the Marlins on Sep. 26.
With Tanaka getting the ball in the most-crucial Game 3, the strategy does make sense to get Garcia pitching earlier instead of later. Game 4 would likely feature J.A. Happ if the series needs to go that far.
Through six starts this season, Garcia owns a 4.98 ERA in 34.1 innings pitched. He has yet to face the Rays.