The Atlanta Braves are desperate. Desperate enough, even, to start washed up pitcher Freddy Garcia in a pivotol elimination game in the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Garcia did not join the Atlanta Braves until July, after being designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles.
Garcia's 2013 season included:
- Minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles
- Beginning the season with 13 starts in the minor leagues for AAA Norfolk
- May callup
- Designated for assignment in June after posting a 3-5 record and 5.77 ERA
- Time on the minor league disabled list
- One minor league appearance for the Atlanta Braves in which he gave up eight runs in three and two-thirds innings
- As a September callup, two major league starts against the Miami Marlins and one against the Washington Nationals
- In one of Garcia's three relief appearances, lost a game to the Phillies, entering a tie game and recording just one out.
That's a pretty rough season, and the Braves are staking their whole 2013 season on it.
This is probably it for the Braves, who had a good run in a weak National League East. But when their two highest-paid players are either on the bench (B.J. Upton) or not on the postseason roster (Dan Uggla) and their backup catcher is starting in left field and batting cleanup (Evan Gattis), they have probably stretched themselves too thin.
When Garcia lost the game to the Phillies this September as the Phillies swept the Braves, plenty of "Garcia finally won one for the Phillies" jokes were rampant. The Phillies are sitting at home, but it appears we won't have to watch the Atlanta Braves win instead.