ST. LOUIS -- It turns out Cardinals manager Mike Matheny wasn't just displaying some postseason urgency when he pulled starter Jaime Garcia after two innings Monday, in Game 2 of the National League Division Series against the Nationals.
It turns out Garcia was hurt.
The Cardinals left-hander was sent for an MRI on his left shoulder during Monday's game, in which the Cardinals beat the Nationals 12-4. Results likely won't be available until Tuesday, but Garcia expressed some concern, and Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Cardinals likely will replace Garcia on their postseason roster.
"I don't know what to think," Garcia said. "I'm hoping it's not too bad."
The Cardinals can add another pitcher to replace Garcia, but in that case he wouldn't be eligible to pitch in the next round should the Cards advance. With Garcia's shoulder hurting again, that may not be an issue, anyway.
Garcia missed nearly two months this season with shoulder trouble, but he had pitched well since returning in mid-August.
"The last couple of weeks, I'd been feeling the best I've felt," he said. "I don't know where it happened. I don't know how it happened."
Garcia said he felt some soreness and stiffness in the shoulder leading up to Monday, but thought it would go away. He said he didn't say anything to the Cardinals about it.
But when he took the mound Monday, it didn't go away. He said he felt the pain during both innings he pitched, and said it was a factor in his poor command. While Garcia gave up just one run on two hits, he walked three and at one point in the second inning had thrown more balls than strikes.
The Cardinals have 18-game winner Lance Lynn on their playoff roster as a reliever, and Lynn replaced Garcia and pitched the next three innings Monday. Garcia wouldn't be scheduled to start again in this series, anyway, but Lynn would be available to take his place if the Cardinals advance.