Making his first career road start at one of baseball’s hallowed grounds never crossed his mind.
Neither did etching his name in the game’s record books.
Jarlin Garcia did both on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
It may not have seemed like a big deal for only a five-inning start, but until Garcia gave up a double to Yankees’ third baseman Miguel Andujar he had not given up a hit in 10 consecutive scoreless innings to open his career as a starting pitcher.
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Garcia’s streak, which began during his six no-hit inning performance last week against the Mets in Miami, matched the modern MLB record set by Bobo Holloman in 1953 for the St. Louis Browns, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
It also matched the second-longest such streak in terms of consecutive innings either by a starter or reliever in franchise history, second only to Armando Benitez’s streak of 11 in a row in 2004.
“I never thought about that,” Garcia said. “I just wanted to go out there and do my job and help the team win and fight for that victory.”
Although it’s a limited sample size, Garcia could be on his way to becoming one of the team’s best starters this season.
Garcia has pitched 21 innings in two starts and two relief appearances overall, and compiled a 0.86 ERA, which ranks second in the National League only to the Giants’ Johnny Cueto (0.45).
Through the first 17 games, no Marlins’ starter has been more effective than Garcia despite having only 13 strikeouts and walking 11 batters. The Marlins’ rotation, which is missing their most experienced member in Dan Straily and features three rookies, has the third-worst ERA in the majors (5.13), ahead of only the White Sox (5.39) and Reds (5.59). It rises to 5.51 ERA in 152 innings if you remove Garcia from the equation.
“He hung in there, used his offspeed and got the big outs when he needed them,” Mattingly said. “You could see him kind of running out of gas at the end. Obviously, a few more pitches today. We’re getting him built, and he’s obviously been effective.”
Garcia, who made a team-high 68 appearances for the Marlins out of the bullpen last year, started this season as a long reliever and posted six no-hit innings in an extra-inning game against the Cubs on March 30.
The Marlins made the decision in the offseason to make Garcia a starting pitcher as he was during his first four seasons in the minors.
Garcia wasn’t even at his sharpest Tuesday yet he found ways to keep the explosive Yankees’ lineup from doing damage.
Garcia walked five batters, which prompted his exit after five innings and 92 pitches. He struck out only two, but only surrendered the lone hit to Andujar and worked his way out of situations with runners in scoring position in the first, third and fifth innings.
“I just tried to control my emotions, have confidence in my delivery, and make good pitches, pitches that I knew would be able to get me out of trouble,” Garcia said.
In the fifth with his pitch count rising, Garcia faced Aaron Judge with two outs and a runner at third. He induced Judge to line out to center. He also induced an inning-ending grounder by Gary Sanchez in the first and from Didi Gregorius, who homered twice in Monday’s game, in the third inning.
Four strong innings from the Marlins’ bullpen coupled with the team’s highest run production of the young season backed up Garcia, allowing him to record his first career win.
“He just continued what I had been seeing him do even before I got back,” said catcher J.T. Realmuto, who played his first game of the season and hit a clutch three-run home run in the fifth inning. “He’s been throwing the ball great for us, mixing his speeds really well. He’s been able to go in effectively on right-handers and left-handers and he’s just keeping guys off balance.”
Thursday: Miami Marlins LHP Dillon Peters (2-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Milwaukee Brewers RHP Chase Anderson (1-1, 2.82), 8:10 p.m., Miller Park.
Friday: Marlins RHP Trevor Richards (0-1, 4.70) vs. Brewers RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 5.60), 8:10 p.m., Miller Park.