KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- In Spring Training, you usually only hear about a pitcher "working on things" after an outing that yielded poor results. That was not the case for Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia on Friday, according to manager Mike Matheny.
Making his second-to-last outing before the regular season, Garcia struck out five Astros over six innings and gave up two runs on four hits, a walk and a wild pitch. The lefty said he felt strong enough to keep pitching, and the only thing he needs to do in his final Grapefruit League outing is continue to build up strength.
And yes, he was actually working on his delivery and his pitch sequencing during Friday's game.
"Phenomenal," Matheny said. "He just had a real good tempo to him. He was actually working on a couple things, too. You use that as a great excuse when guys may not have the results, but it was nice to see the results and being able to work on being a little quicker to the plate with guys on base and using some of his different pitches in different counts. It was well executed."
Garcia said catcher Tony Cruz called a strong game, and Matheny agreed that the two seem to have developed a good working relationship this spring -- something that could become a factor in determining when to rest Yadier Molina during the regular season.
"I would give Tony some credit for being creative in how to use his stuff, because you didn't see a lot of shaking going on out there," Matheny said. "They've got a nice little thing working right now. But he had to execute his pitches, and he did a nice job of that."
"I feel really comfortable where I'm at right now," added Garcia. "I'm right where I need to be at this point of the spring."
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. MLB.com reporter Jenifer Langosch contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.