Adam Wainwright Is Good At Hurling Baseballs

Last night’s game against the Dbacks was fun to watch.  It was fun to watch in a different way than Saturday’s game against the Braves was fun to watch.  It wasn’t bunts and fast legs this time, but absolutely masterful pitching.  We’ve pretty much come to expect pitching gems from Adam Wainwright.  I think sometimes that expectation mutes the celebration somewhat in a way the celebration of the bunts and fast legs wasn’t.  We as Cardinals fans are not used to speed winning games; we are quite used to pitching doing so.

Nevertheless, the performance of Wainwright last night was arguably the best of his career.  It was his first career one hitter, and the game score of 94 was the highest in his career.  The one hit was a double by Paul Goldschmidt to center field that Jon Jay played off the wall.   Goldschmidt was the only Dbacks player to reach base in that game.  Nine strikeouts, 6 of them looking, tied Wainwright’s season high.

Wainwright had pinpoint command of all of his pitches.  His curveball was sharp and his cutter and sinker were moving well.  Even a 15 minute delay when the home plate umpire had to leave the game because of illness wasn’t enough to shake Wainwright out of his groove.  From the first pitch to the last, Wainwright was in control of the game.  He was helped by an offense that appears to have gotten its extra base hit mojo back.  Five double and 2 HRs (yes, HRs; I know it’s a shock), were the order of the offensive day.  Peralta hit his 9th homerun, and Matt Adams, sans elbow brace, hit his 3rd.

The one not so bright spot of the game was the continued struggles of Allen Craig.  Craig went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.  Craig looks uncomfortable at the plate most days, and the reason for this is unknown to Cardinals fans.  Many speculate about injury, though Craig denies it.  He has moments where he looks like the Craig of old, only to fall back into his current pattern of flailing at breaking balls outside the zone, and hitting down on the ball, resulting in weak ground balls that don’t get out of the infield (Craig has seen an increase in sinkers pitched to him, which could account for some of the ground balls).    Craig has an anemic batting line of .220/.275/.345, more reminiscent of Pete Kozma than Allen Craig.

Matt Carpenter continues to confound people as well.  I wouldn’t say he is struggling exactly, he is hitting .264 and went 1 for 4 in last night’s game, he just doesn’t look like the Matt Carpenter we are used to seeing.  Maybe it’s just a sluggish start and he will pick it up as the season goes on.  For an interesting article addressing Carp’s issues read here.  There seems to be no obvious answer to the puzzle of Carp.  I miss him; come back please.

Tonight we see Michael Wacha take on Brandon McCarthy.  Given the competitive nature of the Cardinals’ starting rotation, will we see a no hitter tonight from Wacha?.  Will it rain?  Will Matheny make a double switch?  Will we hear Al Hrabosky say, “You never embarrass yourself when you hustle” ?  These and many other burning questions will be answered tonight starting at 7:15 pm  CDT at Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.


Thank you for reading.

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