(SportsNetwork.com) - Jaime Garcia takes the hill for the first time in almost a year on Thursday when the St. Louis Cardinals close out a four-game series with the New York Mets at Citi Field.
Garcia has dealt with numerous shoulder issues since 2012 and hasn't pitched in a big league game since June 20 of last season. He also had a setback in spring training from the thoracic outlet surgery that was performed to alleviate numbness and tingling in his pitching arm and hand
However, Garcia hasn't exactly instill confidence in a pair of minor league rehab assignments, as he pitched to a 7.27 ERA over 8 2/3 innings.
He becomes the third pitcher to fill in the rotation spot left open by the injury to ace Adam Wainwright.
Garcia has faced the Mets four times and is 2-0 against them with a sparkling 0.96 ERA.
New York, meanwhile, turns to the NL's reigning Rookie of the Year, Jacob deGrom, who is 4-4 with a 3.21 ERA. deGrom picked up a win his last time out on Saturday against Milwaukee, as he allowed a run and five hits in six innings.
deGrom, who had lost three of his previous four starts, also had three hits and became the first Mets pitcher since Chris Young in 2011 to do that and the first pitcher overall to get two hits in one inning since Adam Wainwright in 2013.
"That was fun," said deGrom. "I was just trying to get up there and hit the ball hard. They found holes."
St. Louis pounded the Mets on Wednesday, as Matt Adams and Jason Heyward each homered to help the Cardinals to a 9-0 victory.
Kolten Wong had three hits with two RBI and two runs scored for St. Louis, while Matt Holliday also notched three hits to extend his on-base streak to 38 games.
"Right now, we're just clicking on all cylinders. Fortunately for us we are coming out on top," Wong said.
Carlos Martinez (4-2) was solid in his outing for the Cardinals, pitching 6 1/3 scoreless frames and striking out five.
Mets starter Bartolo Colon (6-3) was not up to par and had a lengthy streak that gave him a franchise record end. The right-hander, attempting to become the majors first seven-game winner, was roughed up for nine runs -- eight earned -- on 11 hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings.
The 41-year-old hadn't walked a batter in 48 2/3 innings until a fourth-inning pass to Matt Carpenter, but he did pass Bret Saberhagen's club record of 47 2/3 frames without one set in 1994.
The Mets won four of seven from the Cards last season.