Garcia impressing with work out of bullpen

Garcia impressing with work out of bullpen

NEW YORK -- For as good as the Nationals' bullpen has been this season, they may have found another reliable piece for the stretch run.

Rookie Christian Garcia had appeared in five games this month for Washington entering play Wednesday, striking out seven in five complete innings with a 1.80 ERA. He has allowed four hits and one earned run -- a Giancarlo Stanton solo home run -- while walking none.

The right-hander has impressed in late-game situations after recording 21 saves this season -- along with a 0.86 ERA in 45 appearances -- between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse.

"I think it's just more of a comfort level," Garcia said. "It's the kind of person I am. I like being in spots where there's pressure. I tend to do better when those opportunities arise."

Garcia was a third-round pick of the Yankees in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, but had two Tommy John surgeries before he was signed by the Nationals last summer. Now he's contributing during a pennant chase with a chance at earning a playoff spot.

"I really like the way I've seen him throw," Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. "He has an outstanding repertoire of stuff. He's got some great weapons. The sinker he threw [David Wright on Tuesday], they were raving about it on the mound."