St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright was recently activated from the 60-Day DL. He made his second start against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday night for his first shutout this season. In his six frames he only allowed two hits while fanning nine.
Before Wainwright made his debut back, after four months on the sideline, against the Pittsburgh Pirates a week ago speculation was he would be part of the bullpen. Maybe one start out of respect to the twelve year Cardinals veteran.
As the season progressed, starter Luke Weaver struggled through each of his outings. Young arms brought up from Memphis Triple-A have held their own. In my opinion, the Cardinals were just waiting for Wainwright to be ready for return to take Weaver's place in the rotation. Bull pen duty would be a wait and see.
Wainwright had pitched 17 scoreless innings in his minor league rehab assignments. That alone was exciting news for him and the organization. In his first start, he did give up four earned runs by then end of his fourth inning. But completed five taking down the last eight hitters he faced. Of course, some fans surmised maybe one more start before he heads to help out in the bullpen.
I felt that his first start gave him information he needed as to what adjustments were he would need to make for his next time out. And that he did.
In Sunday's night game, he faced no more than four hitters in four of his first five innings. Three in his third, as backstop Yadier Molina induced a 2-4-3-6 put-out as Joc Pederson was caught in his attempt to steal second for the final out. He took down the side in his sixth. He only allowed two hits holding the Dodgers scoreless, did issue three walks but logged nine strikeouts for his night. They did work him a bit as he finished with 101 PC. However, threw 61 strikes in the interim. His velocity ranged from 75 mph to 92.8 mph, but effective in his delivery.
Bull pen duty? Folks, don't look for that assignment any time soon. He brought his 4.07 ERA down to a 3.72. With a total of 29 IP, to bring down one's average a quarter tick equals solid pitching.
Cardinals saw the "Wainwright of old" last night. Strong and in control of the game. His next start will be this coming Saturday facing the San Francisco Giants.
Wainwright has made the statement, "I want to make it tough for the organization to make a decision at the end of the season". He becomes a free agent in 2019.
Why do I like that statement? That tells me Wainwright is determined to do even better than he did in last night's stand. Or, equal to. He is a competitor and he feels he has the stuff "to help his team win".
Thanks for reading. You may also follow me on Twitter @elichap822.