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Houston Astros fans are eagerly waiting to see their team take commanding control of the American League West, and with pitcher Luis Garcia on the mound, the team seems poised to do exactly that. Despite a rough start to the season, Astros catcher Martín Maldonado and Garcia himself are confident that the young pitcher is headed in the right direction. And with the Astros still sitting at 6-8, there’s plenty of time for Garcia to turn his season around.

While Garcia hasn’t exactly lit up the stat sheet through his first three games, Houston fans can take solace in the fact that he’s keeping a positive attitude through it all. As Maldonado remarked, “The numbers probably don’t show that, but overall it’s a good step moving forward.” In Friday night’s game against the Rangers, Garcia allowed five earned runs in five innings, but Maldonado still saw signs of progress.

Garcia himself echoed this sentiment, saying that he felt more comfortable on the mound on Friday than he did in his previous outing against the Twins. “Just overall, my body and everything was working way better,” he said. And though Garcia did allow a two-run homer to Adolis García in the third inning, Maldonado was quick to point out that it was “a good pitch. Exactly where we wanted it.”

Garcia’s struggles this season are all the more surprising when you consider the fact that he had a career year in 2020, going 15-8 with a 3.72 ERA in 28 regular-season starts. But as Astros manager Dusty Baker noted, he’s “certainly much better than this,” and fans can expect to see him bounce back in his next start. For Garcia, it’s just a matter of getting his pitch count back under control and making sure he’s hitting his spots more consistently.

In the end, everything comes down to timing in baseball, and fans shouldn’t be too quick to worry about Garcia just yet. With 145 games left in the season, there’s plenty of time for the young pitcher to find his groove and help lead the Astros back to the top of the AL West. So keep your eyes on the mound, Astros fans, because Luis Garcia is only just getting started.