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Jaime Garcia's Shutout In Context

Jaime Garcia's shutout Sunday afternoon was clearly the best game of his nascent career, and in a season less strewn with stupendous pitching performances—Brandon Morrow, Roy Halladay, Dallas Braden, Matt Garza...—it would be one of the 20 best performances of the season. 

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But he'll have to settle for tying one of Adam Wainwright's two shutouts for the second highest game score of any Cardinal this season. Wainwright's shutout earlier this month, in which he allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out seven, ties Garcia's three hit, six strikeout, zero walk performance, but both, per Bill James's Game Scores, of course, are eclipsed by Wainwright's June shutout against the Brewers.

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It doesn't get significantly better than he was that day; Wainwright allowed two hits and struck out eight against one walk, throwing 73 strikes in 103 pitches. Superfluously enough, the Cardinals have now scored 24 runs in their three complete game shutouts this season. I suppose that could account for some of their much-ado'd Pythagorean underperformance...