Freddy Garcia Shelled By Cardinals

There's only one guy on the Mets who isn't holding his breath about the condition of Johan Santana's elbow. Freddy Garcia may not be actively hoping that the ace has a serious injury, but deep inside he's got to know that an injury is the only way he's making the Mets staff out of Spring Training.

Garcia got hammered by the Cardinals on Tuesday, allowing two home runs and four runs total in two innings of work. One of the home runs, by Chris Duncan, was a truly mammoth blast. It cleared the outfield fence and just kept on going into the Port St. Lucie sky. Garcia's fastball wouldn't get down in the zone, he had nothing to keep hitters off balance and generally looked nothing like a viable candidate for a major league job.

Livan Hernandez threw two scoreless innings in his debut. He'll start again on Wednesday, giving him a chance to extend his early lead on the job. Tim Redding still hasn't faced any hitters after toe surgery, but he may have one less competitor when he does.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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