TAMPA — Deivi Garcia didn’t have his pinpoint command Friday night.
Instead the right-hander, who is competing with Domingo German for the fifth spot in the Yankees’ rotation, made the best of a tough situation. Despite walking four batters, including three in the first inning to load the bases, Garcia worked himself out of jams to finish with three scoreless, hitless innings in the Yankees’ 4-1 loss to the Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
“Another outing you get to learn a lot from,” Garcia said through an interpreter. “How important execution can be, especially when you’re pitching and you’re throwing certain pitches near the zone. Those close pitches can go either way. When you find yourself in an outing like that and you end up walking some guys, you have to find a way to execute and get out of those jams. The learning experience, how to navigate that, it’s a key there.”
Garcia had walked just two batters through his first eight innings (three starts) of Grapefruit League play, entering Friday. He eclipsed that mark in the first inning alone, with all three of his walks coming on full counts to load the bases with one out.
But after a meeting on the mound with catcher Gary Sanchez and pitching coach Matt Blake, the 21-year-old Garcia got out of the inning unscathed, getting Odubel Herrera to fly out to shallow left field and striking out Andrew Knapp looking.
Garcia led the second inning off with another full-count walk — with all four of his walks coming after getting ahead 0-2 or 1-2. But he recovered by retired the final six batters he faced in a row. He threw 56 pitches on the night, but only needed 11 to cruise through his last inning.
“I think it was about maybe being a little too fine,” Garcia said of the adjustment he made to get back on track. “Understand that you need to execute the pitch. Understanding that in that moment, it doesn’t have to be perfect.”
After Friday’s outing, Garcia has now allowed just two earned runs over 11 innings on five hits, six walks and 12 strikeouts.
“Just unable to put some guys away,’ manager Aaron Boone said of Garcia’s latest start. “But then does what he’s capable of doing in making pitches and wiggling out of it. … I didn’t feel like for walking four guys, he was all over the place, but still wasn’t quite able to put some guys away that he probably should have. But I thought stuff-wise, overall he was pretty good.”
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/03/20/deivi-garcias-scoreless-yankees-outing-plagued-by-walks/ on .