(Busch Stadium) In one of the biggest games of the year, Adam Wainwright delivered his biggest performance of the year for the St. Louis Cardinals. The veteran right-hander threw 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, and striking out nine batters as St. Louis beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0.
“Us old guys can still play, can’t we? A little bit, yeah,” smiled Wainwright. “It was all about executing, making my pitches, mixing well, keeping them off balance, working up, working down, working in, working out, and that’s what I tried to do tonight.”
The win moved St. Louis back into a tie with Los Angeles for the second National League Wild Card spot.
“You saw me kind of rolling my finger as I was walking off and what I meant by that was let’s just carry this. We got the ball rolling now and let’s just keep it going. Hopefully, these other starters will follow suit.”
Three different stints on the disabled list have caused Wainwright to miss 129 games this season. Tonight’s win marked the first for Wainwright since April 17th.
“Tonight’s the best I’ve felt on the mound since the middle of 2016,” he said. “I just feel very thankful right now. The guys, the staff, who’ve worked on me this whole time, they deserve all the credit. A lot of people rooting for me, a lot of people working hard for me to get out there and do what I did tonight.”
Wainwright was referring to his complete game shutout against Miami in July of 2016 thrown as his retired teammates from the 2006 World Series championship team watched on from a suite while celebrating the 10th anniversary of their title.
“This has been the most satisfying in a while for sure,” said Wainwright. “But, a lot of my criticism is rightfully so. I was injured and I was out there trying to battle, but it was not the same so people are judging me based off what they’ve seen and I understand that. But don’t judge me now based off what I was at because that’s not where I am now.”
With this outing marking his 350th career appearance, Wainwrgiht also became the first pitcher to throw 1000 innings at Busch Stadium III. He joins Bill Sherdel (Sportsman’s Park), Jesse Haines (Sportsman’s Park), Bob Gibson (Busch Stadium II), and Bob Forsch (Busch Stadium II) as the only Cardinal pitchers to reach 1000 innings at home.
–Pitcher Bud Norris left the game after throwing only seven pitches in the 7th inning due to a blister on his right middle finger.
–The win was the 82nd of the season for St. Louis, which ensures there 11th consecutive winning season.
–The official attendance of 45,217 at Busch Stadium represented the 24th sell out of the season for the Cardinals.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports