The Pitcher: Jaime Garcia
The Phillies will be seeing the same trio of pitchers in Atlanta that they saw in Philly. The only addition to the four-game set will be former Cy Young winner, R.A. Dickey, whose knuckleball used to give the old regime fits.
This time around, I am going with a pitcher who has seemed to take advantage his opportunity with Atlanta. Although Mike Foltynewicz dominated the Phils on the Sunday game last time the two teams met, I really just do not feel like typing that name over and over again, so I choose Jaime Garcia.
In all seriousness, Foltynewicz and Garcia have been the two best pitchers for Atlanta early on this year. Garcia has been a tad ahead of Foltynewicz in every area and despite the struggles the Phils had against the youngster, I went with Garcia.
This season, the lefty leads the Bravos in ERA by a ton. He has posted a 3.18 in his short time with Atlanta. The next closest is Foltynewicz with a 3.90 mark. Everyone else in the rotation is set at 5.00 or higher. His 1.25 WHIP is lowest on the team as well.
Garcia has seemingly improved each time out this year. Over his last three starts, he has allowed only one earned run in 21.2 innings. The key has been his control, as he has only walked five batters in that stretch.
Back on April 22nd against the Phils, Garcia went six strong innings, allowing only two earned on five hits and a walk. He struck out six that day and induced 10 ground ball outs over those six frames. None of the current Phils have more than two hits off the 30 year old. Odubel Herrera leads the way with two hits, while Freddy Galvis stands at the end with an 0-11 tab against Garcia.
Most of his starts have come on the road this season, but the Mexico native has posted a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings at home. Over his career against the Phils, he has had success. A career ERA of 2.82 with only two dingers allowed in eleven games is about as solid as it gets.
Garcia will not overpower hitters, but has a deceptive left-handed delivery. He throws his fastballs in the low-to-mid 90s, and fools hitters with a slow change or slider he throws in the mid-80s. He has used his four-seam and two-seam fastballs a combined 534 times this season.
His changeup-slider combination gets the next most play at 276 times. It appears that his out-pitch is his slider with 18 Ks. Look for the two-seam fastball running back against right-handed hitters with two strikes.