(Busch Stadium) St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has never made the mistake of trying to be a flame-thrower on the mound and tonight was yet another example of him “pitching” his way through a game.
“I have always relied on my pitchability, really,” stated Wainwright. “Never honestly had that much of fastball to begin with. It’s been fine, it’s been good–not a terrible fastball. Good enough to go off my other speeds. So if you’re not having the good fastball, in my mind, if you keep the ratios the same, it doesn’t really matter. So if I drop my curveball speed down, if I drop my slider speed down as my fastball goes, then I’m still pitching with the same speed variabilities.”
But this wasn’t just a scouting report to beat the Atlanta Braves. This was the result of Wainwright feeling a sensation in the area near the base of his triceps and top of his right elbow.
“The end of ’14, I had the same sort of sensation on the outside of my arm–where I get a little inflamed area in my joint and it’s just from being a pitcher for a long time,” he explained. “Sometimes, you’ve just got to make it work.”
“Every time I tried to get on a fastball, I left the ball up,” explained Wainwright. “So in warm-ups today, I had that same sensation so I didn’t try to really get on any fastballs because I knew what was going to happen. I wasn’t going to be able to get on top of the ball and drive it down like I needed to. 89-90 doesn’t really do you a lot of good if it’s chin-high over the middle of the plate. So until this subsides–and I have great confidence it will, I’ll pitch and continue to change speeds. Get it when I want it, but locate everything until then.”
And that meant locating some curveballs that clocked in as low as 62mph.
“I think I got a couple in the 50’s–they didn’t register but, I felt like I nailed a couple of those curveballs,” said Wainwright. “I looked at Yadi on the way in as we were walking across the field and I said, I’m going to do it a little different tonight. Just stay with me. We’re going to do some crazy stuff out there today. And he said ‘okay, let’s do it’.”
A key double play in the 3rd inning helped Wainwright out of his only true jam of the night as he got through 5.0 innings allowing just one run. It was only the third career start in which he did not record a strikeout.
LOVE YOU MAN
–So what was it that Adam Wainwright said to Matt Adams after his former teammate passed by the mound after grounding into a double-play?
“I said I love you buddy,” shared Waino. “He’s a good dude. A good fella.”
Adams, who pregame shared his excitement to return and play again in Busch Stadium, went 1-4 in the game with an RBI.
SEVEN IN A ROW
–The Cardinals 8-5 win over Atlanta marked a season-high 7 straight wins for the team. They have also now scored 8 runs in six straight games, a new franchise record.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports