A sea of red will greet the Phillies when they play Game 3 of the NLDS series tomorrow at Busch Stadium. However, the capacity crowd sporting Cardinal red won’t be so friendly to Charlie Manuel and his squad.
It’ll be a tougher environment in the park and possibly on the field. Cards skipper Tony LaRussa has slated Phillies killer Jaime Garcia — 2-1 with a 1.20 ERA in six starts against them — to pitch.
“Garcia has always pitched good against us,” Manuel said. “He’s a guy that likes to get ahead in the count, and his command definitely plays big. And in order for us to be successful on him, we’ve got to make him bring the ball up and be patient with him. And our right-handed hitters have to definitely have some success against him.”
Patience may be the key against Garcia, who has gone six innings or fewer in seven of his past 10 starts. If the Phillies can make him work and get to the Cards’ tired bullpen, that would bode well for the NL Eastern division champs. (The Phillies were a club-record 50-31 on the road this season.)
“It would be great if we could make pitchers throw as many pitches as possible, but sometimes that’s easier said than done,” Shane Victorino said. “But we’ll try to do that.”
It would be more challenging for the Phillies if slugger Matt Holliday is in the lineup. It looks like Holliday, suffering with a finger injury, is doubtful.
“I don’t know about [Holliday playing],” LaRussa said. “I’m more concerned than I was before [Saturday’s] game because he took an at-bat [in Game 1] and he did have soreness when he swung.”