The Washington Times - October 8, 2012, 09:55PM

ST. LOUIS — Christian Garcia wants more. Lost in the debris of Monday’s eight-run loss by the Nationals in Game 2 of the division series were Garcia’s 28 pitches.

Mop-up relief doesn’t merit much attention, but Garcia occupies a unique position on the staff. The 27-year-old survived two Tommy John surgeries to rebuild his right elbow, signed with the Nationals as a minor league free agent and started the season with Double-A Harrisburg.

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That’s hardly the stuff October dreams are made of. But Garcia’s overpowering fastball and knee-buckling breaking ball caught manager Davey Johnson’s attention after the pitcher was summoned to Washington in September.

“Pitching in the postseason really doesn’t do anything,” said Garcia, who struck out two and walked two in 1 2/3 innings.

“I’m sure looking back a lot of people wish they would’ve had this opportunity. I’m humbled to have this opportunity, but I’m here now and I want to do bigger and better things. That’s how I’ve always been. I’ve always dreamed big and never underestimated myself.”

With the game spiraling out of control in the fourth inning, Garcia relieved Craig Stammen. What goes through a player’s mind in the unlikeliest of postseason debuts?

“I just wanted to keep the score the same way,” Garcia said.

He admitted to a touch of excitement, but, mainly, fixated on getting the next man out. The situation didn’t feel out of the ordinary because the September call-up for his big league debut meant so much.

“It felt normal, like the regular season,” Garcia said. “For me, the regular season was the playoffs.”