Cubs Cardinals Game 2: Cubs Battle Cardinals

Published: October 11, 2015

Cubs Cardinals Game 2: Cubs Battle Cardinals, Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia on stomach virus: “You have to battle and compete through things.”
Jaime Garcia said he had been dealing with a stomach virus for a couple of days, even losing sleep over the problem, before he took the mound in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Cubs.

The left-hander told the Cardinals of the issue about an hour before the game, but he was determined to make his first postseason appearance since 2012.

“It was my game,” he said. “I prepared and worked so hard all year for this situation.”

That work unraveled quickly in the second inning when Garcia’s mental lapse sparked the Cubs’ five-run spurt in a 6-3 victory to even the series at Busch Stadium. Afterward, Garcia admitted the illness might have made it difficult to focus.

“I hate to make excuses, but it’s a little tough dealing with what I’m dealing with,” Garcia said. “But everybody goes through things. You have to battle and compete through things. I have to be able to do a better job next time.”

Austin Jackson reached third base with one out after Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong’s throwing error and a stolen base, which Garcia said he should have done a better job at trying to prevent.

Garcia then fielded Kyle Hendricks’ bunt and thought about trying to get a double play at second before realizing Jackson was scoring from third. It was too late, and Garcia then made an off-balance throw into right field, allowing Cubs runners to advance to second and third.

“That’s a well-executed bunt, and the pitcher has to be aggressively thinking right out of the box if you’re going to have any chance at home,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “So then at the last minute there’s a lot of noise. I’m sure (catcher Yadier Molina) at that point was calling for him to at least look at home, and it was too late.”

Before long, Garcia had given up five unearned runs in the inning, including a two-run homer to Jorge Soler. Lance Lynn replaced him to start the third, not because of the stomach issue but because of the Cardinals’ situation in the game, Matheny said.

Matheny said Garcia had assured them he was fine to pitch, and they hadn’t seen anything that indicated otherwise.

“I don’t care what’s going on, what distractions I have going on, I’m going to compete until they take the ball out of my hand,” Garcia said. “Unfortunately that second inning, a couple of things I didn’t handle the best way.”

Mark Gonzales, Paul Sullivan on Cubs’ Game 2 win
The Tribune’s Paul Sullivan and Mark Gonzales break down the Cubs’ 6-3 win in Game 2.

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