The postseason nod for Garcia completes a reversal of fortune for the right-hander that no one could have seen coming a month ago.
The 36-year-old looked to be on his last legs early in the year, spending the first month of the season pitching for the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate. Garcia got some work in with Baltimore as an emergency starter in May and June, but he turned in 5.77 earned-run average and fewer than five strikeouts per nine in 53 innings, booking a one-way ticket back to the minors.
Needing pitching depth to help them down the stretch with Brandon Beachy sidelined yet again, the Braves decided to take a flyer on Garcia in late August. The right-hander was miserable in his one warm-up start at Triple-A -- eight runs in 3⅔ innings -- but then somehow managed to find success with the big-league club over the final month of the year.
Garcia put up a 1.67 ERA and a much-improved strikeout rate of over six batters per nine in his 27⅓ innings for Atlanta. All sorts of sample size caveats abound here, obviously, but that isn't stopping Atlanta from giving Garcia the ball next Monday in Los Angeles, should the series get that far.
Garcia has quite a bit of playoff experience on his big-league résumé. The veteran has 10 postseason starts in his 15 years of professional ball, including a stellar performance with the 2005 WS champion White Sox. In all, he owns a 3.28 ERA in 60⅓ October innings.