Astros’ Luis Garcia Details Injury That Ended His ALCS Game 2 Start

Garcia getting pulled allowed for the incredibly long Jake Odorizzi warmup

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October 18, 2021

When Luis Garcia was pulled from Saturday’s American League Championship Series start, some were skeptical.

It was only the second inning, he had gotten rocked for a grand slam by the Boston Red Sox the inning earlier and already put one on in the second. His pace was plodding, and he clearly didn’t have it. The Houston Astros pulled him with an injury designation, meaning Garcia’s replacement, Jake Odorizzi, could take as much time as he needed to warm up.

And that, he did, warming up for nearly 40 minutes. Thus began the theories that the Astros were trying to disrupt the rhythm of the Red Sox’s hot offense, or at the very least keep starter Nathan Eovaldi on the bench and get him cold.

Neither of those plans worked, and the Red Sox cruised to a 9-5 victory, torturing Odorizzi as badly as they had to Garcia.

The injury getting labeled as “knee soreness” by the Astros and Garcia remaining on the ALCS roster has only furthered speculation of shady stuff, and he expounded on what he was dealing with.

“I feel really good,” Garcia said Sunday, via ASAP Sports. “My knee (Saturday)was hurting a little bit, but today I feel really good throwing, and I’m good.”

The 24-year-old indicated that his knee pain really started to flare up in between the first and second innings. Astros manager Dusty Baker said it’s something he has been dealing with all season, which Garcia agreed with — to a degree.

“I was kind of dealing with that, like, the year long, I think, but it was something that I could control, and I don’t know, (Saturday) was something different,” Garcia said. “That’s why I came out of the game. … I felt a pinch in my knee there that was more painful (Saturday) than normal, but everything is fine now, thank God.”

Garcia is unsure whenever he will be able to pitch next, and appears to be following the lead of the medical staff. The Astros will have José Urquidy pitch Game 3, with Zach Greinke in play for Game 4. It would have been Odorizzi for Game 4 had he not needed to eat innings in Game 2.

The Astros’ success, or lack thereof, in the ALCS will be predicated on how taxed their pitching staff is, so the uncertainty surrounding Garcia is huge for them.

Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi
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