Commentary

Jamie Garcia gives Cardinals an edge

The lefty's changeup could help neutralize the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS

Originally Published: October 9, 2011
By Steve Slowinski | FanGraphs
Jaime GarciaAP Photo/Barry GutierrezJaime Garcia will get the ball for St. Louis in Game 1 and face Milwaukee's Zack Greinke.

By now, many people have likely already heard this tidbit of arcane trivia: The Milwaukee Brewers have never played in the NLCS before, yet this is the second time that they have faced the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason. Considering the two teams are in the same division, how is that possible?

The answer: Before the 1998 realignment, the Brewers were in the American League and met the Cardinals in the 1982 World Series. That's the first and only time the Brewers have made it to the World Series, and they lost to the Cardinals in seven games despite Robin Yount's best efforts (1.072 OPS).

While the Brewers won the NL Central by six games over the Cardinals this season and are considered the favorites in this series, the matchups between the clubs could be just as close as the last time the teams met in the playoffs.

The Cardinals have a weaker pitching staff and defense than the Brewers, but their offense is more potent and features three sluggers -- Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday -- that are effective versus both right-handed and left-handed pitchers.

Not to mention, the Cardinals hold a potential trump card in their deck: Jaime Garcia.


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