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Pirates Vs. Cardinals: Jaime Garcia Returns To Pitch Key Matchup Against Bucs

Jeff Karstens takes on Jaime Garcia at 2:15 p.m. Sunday, in what appears to be a big game in the race for the second N.L. Wild Card. The Pirates lead the Dodgers by a half game, and the Cardinals by a full game, so they need a win Sunday to stay in the lead.

Garcia is making his first start since June 5 after missing two months with a shoulder strain. After beginning his Cardinals rotation career with a bang in 2010, Garcia has somehow become, in the words of SB Nation St. Louis editor Dan Moore, "boring":

Jaime Garcia is weirdly boring now—all the troubles with W-L record and the weird non-control-problem-control-problems have continued past the point where the novelty subsided. But that doesn't make him good, or potentially better-than-good in the future—it just makes him kind of boring.

Nonetheless, Garcia is a much better pitcher than his 4.48 ERA this year suggests -- he strikes out his fair share of batters and gets lots of ground balls.

For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout. For more on the Cardinals, there's Viva El Birdos.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.