ST. LOUIS -- Though the Cardinals intend to stick with veteran Mark Ellis as their regular season baseman, Greg Garcia drew the starting assignment -- the first of his big league career -- on Wednesday.
Called up from Triple-A on Monday, Garcia pinch-hit in the first two games of the series. He drew a walk in Monday's plate appearance before being hit by a pitch a day later. Manager Mike Matheny's decision to start Garcia on Wednesday afford his parents, Belinda and David, the chance to see their son in the field before flying back to their home in San Diego on Thursday. Matheny's timing was perfect: Garcia recorded his first big league hit with a leadoff double off Wei-Chung Wang in the fifth inning on Wednesday.
"It's really special for me," Garcia said of having his parents in attendance for this three-game series. "It's amazing, but I'm trying not to overthink it. I have to take it like another baseball game. I'm going to prepare the same way, go out there and play as hard as I can. Hopefully, we can go out there and get a win today."
Garcia said that he learned that his name was on the lineup card directly from Matheny, who delivered the news while Garcia was in the club's food room. Garcia was batting .267 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 21 Triple-A games before joining the big league team.
"I think you're reminded of the first chance you had and how special it is," Matheny said. "He'll never forget this. Randal [Grichuk] will never forget last night, being able to throw a hit in there and make some nice plays as well. It's always exciting to watch these guys get that opportunity they've been dreaming about."