Garland looks to cure first-inning woes

Garland looks to cure first-inning woes

ATLANTA -- When Padres pitcher Jon Garland starts Wednesday against the Braves, he'll try to emerge from the first inning unscathed and unscored upon.

That hasn't been easy this season for Garland.

Garland has a 5.21 ERA in the first inning of his starts and opponents are hitting .337 against him.

"I guess it goes back to that old statement, 'If you're going to get a starting pitcher, you better get to him early,'" Garland said.

Opposing batters are hitting .308 the first time through the lineup against Garland, .244 the second time and .195 the third time through the lineup.

"I don't know what it is. I don't know if they just have a good plan or that they think I'm trying to attack the strike zone early to keep my pitch count down," Garland said.

In the first three innings of starts, Garland has a 5.37 ERA. In innings four and beyond, that ERA is 1.56.