Following his abbreviated start this afternoon, Adam Wainwright isn’t throwing in the towel. But the St. Louis Cardinals veteran did acknowledge that for now, he needs to step out of the rotation.
“I need to pause and get it right,” said Wainwright to the assembled media on the FSN postgame. “This team deserves more than that. The fans deserve more than that and the organization does too. If I’m going to be a force down the stretch, I need to get healthy first. Luckily, we have tons of young guys that are primed and ready for this position. John Gant and Jack Flaherty are ready to take that step, so they’re going to do a great job.”
Making his first start after missing 19 games due to right elbow inflammation, Wainwright shared he re-aggravated his elbow on his third to last warm-up pitch. As a result, he was unable to raise his arm to the correct slot to execute his pitches. Unable to locate his fastball or snap a breaking pitch, Wainwright didn’t give in and stayed to the outside of the plate to try and minimize damage. That lead to issuing a career high six walks.
“I just needed a little something and I could go out and pitch,” he said. “It just didn’t let me do it.”
Wainwright finished with a line of 2.1 IP, 3 hits 2 runs, 6 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Of his 79 pitches, only 38 were strikes.
And as for being a force down the stretch, Wainwright reiterated his confidence–with a mix of current reality.
“Yeah, not at all,” he said. “But it is something I need to get out of me first. I’ve got to stop and get better.”
photo credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports