Adam Wainwright goes eight innings fanning seven in Cardinals 5-1 win over Brewers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
St. Louis Cardinals Adam Wainwright had to wait until September to get his tenth win of the season. He sat on nine wins since July 16. Now, in his second appearance this month, he adds his 11 and second straight win. Returning from his Achilles surgery in 2015, the "Ace" status as we define such, has eluded him most of 2016. He closed 2015 with seven game appearances, four starts in April (1.44 ERA); and, three amazing innings out of the bullpen in three games, September 30, October 2 and 4, as he made a remarkable comeback to close 2015 with a 1.61 ERA. He, also, pitched 5.2 innings in postseason last year for a 1.69. Opening this season, he closed April with a very uncustomary 7.16 ERA, still working on mechanics, no arm issues; but, leg support. And, in my opinion, still regaining full confidence coming off the mound with full body force - distribution of weight onto his left leg for pitch control. His best month thus far has been in July with a 1.77; but, the "Dog Days of August" hit and he was back up to 6.10 ERA.
He made his first appearance at Miller Park facing the Brewers in 2016, August 30. He was returning to the Park which he went down with the Achilles injury, April 25, 2015. His last stand in August, we began to see the old Adam Wainwright in 'full body' command and control. He went 7 IP/1 ER and fanned seven. The game did not result in a win, but his tenth no-decision. However, since, he has not looked back. In last night's game he went eight innings deep, gave up one home run for one earned run, did issue four walks, but set down seven at the plate for a 1.13 ERA. He took down the side in four of his eight innings. Then again, maybe it is the new short pant with stirrups he's sporting that has given him his confidence? I highly doubt it. I'm just enjoying the return of his strong performances.
Wainwright faced Brewers Chase Anderson, who challenged the Cardinals well. He went 5.2 innings, only issued two walks and four strikeouts, holding the Brewers 1-0 lead. The three hits he allowed, one was by Wainwright for a single in his third; and, he advanced to second on an error throw by 3B Jonathan Villar. The one earned run given up by Wainwright was a solo home run to Keon Broxton in his fifth. In Anderson's sixth, he issued his second walk to "top-of-the-order" Wainwright. Had two outs, and Stephen Piscotty was next at-bat. Brewers reliever Carlos Torres was called to replace Anderson and retired Piscotty at the plate, stranding Wainwright. Torres went on to hold the Cardinals in the seventh taking down the side.
In Wainwright's eighth, he issued three of his four walks. His last, intentional to Ryan Braun. He had two outs on the board, his second with a great throw by CF Randal Grichuk to Molina to retire Jake Elmore at the dish to save a run.
Hernan Perez, 2-2 count, was struck out looking. 'Waino' got him on the outside corner. Perez was ejected from the game by Home Plate umpire, Carlos Torres for the ultimate arguing strikes and balls. Busch Stadium was charged to the max. Not only Wainwright's eighth inning success; but, Perez being ejected. Just have to love baseball.
Corey Knebel took over in the eighth and will see the Brewers lead retired. Top-of-the-order Jhonny Peralta reaches first safely on the throw by SS Orlando Arcia. Speedster PR Tommy Pham takes over at first. Grichuk connects for a double to right center, his ninth straight game with a hit, Pham to third. Matt Adams, PH for Wainwright, grounds out for a RBI to tie the game. Matt Carpenter "walks" to first on an IBB. KoltenWong on a 1-2 count, sends the two-seamer to right for RBI single to take the lead and, still, two runners on. Knebel is replaced by Juan Marinez. StephenPiscotty to the plate and had been held hitless thus far. On a 1-1 count, he blazes a double to right center for 2-RBI. Out Two as Moss fouled out, holding Piscotty at second. Yadier Molina to face Marinez. Marinez has two strikes on the board. Molina take the next pitch right up the center for a two-out RBI single to give the Cardinals a 5-1 lead. Marinez closes the inning with Jedd Gyorko looking.
CF Keon Broxton, in his second season with Milwaukee, is definitely a force for the Brewers. In my opinion, he will be a key player for them in seasons to come. He was the Brewers lone run as he was 2-3 AB/1 HR/1 RBI in last night's game. But, Cardinals defense and offense overcome his solo shot in the fifth.
Matt Bowman got the nod for the ninth. I can't say enough about Bowman. A solid reliever for the Cardinals. As pitcher's need a great outing to re-instill their confidence, this one was Bowman's. His last outing by far less than stellar, with "Keystone Cops" type defense behind him, along with his own error throw, he saw four earned runs on the board in his .01 inning pitched. He came to the mound last night and did his job which we have seen many times throughout this season. He took down the side with one strikeout to hand the Cardinals the win, Wainwright his 11 win; and, Knebel his third loss in allowing Anderson's possible shutout for not.
FINAL GAME OF THE FOUR GAME SERIES, 1:15 FIRST PITCH
Cardinals rookie Luke Weaver (1-2/3.96 ERA) facing Brewers Zach Davies (10-7/4.01 ERA). Making his return appearance with the Cardinals will be SS Aledmys Diaz. He had been on rehab assignment with the Springfield Double-A Cardinals. They were eliminated in the postseason Texas League Fall Classic; therefore, Diaz has arrived to continue his rehab with the Cardinals. He will be day-to-day before a decision is made as to when he will be in the line-up. He was .312 BA when he was placed on the DL due to a fractured thumb/HBP, July 31. While with the minor league team, he has been 2-13 AB. Per GM John Mozeliak, Diaz will do some infield work-outs, and they will determine what will be good for him in the near future.