With a Twitter handle like @UncleCharlie50, Adam Wainwright’s affinity for the curveball isn’t going away anytime soon. That said, the St. Louis Cardinals ace was excited about a different pitch following his scoreless outing this afternoon.
“I threw probably more changeups today in three innings in a game than I have in an entire game since I’ve been in the big leagues — just really excited about it,” shared Wainwright, who besides a pair of strikeouts also created a few other swings and misses.
“Changeups,” he stated. “Changeups, all of them were changeups.”
The Cardinals beat Miami 9-2, with Wainwright allowing three hits in his 3.0 innings of work.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and it’s something that I’ve really worked hard on in a lot of Spring Trainings,” added Wainwright. “But just never put the time in to be as diligent about practicing it as I have this spring. Seeing some results, which is nice. If had I gone out there and given up a bunch of doubles today, I’d have gone back to the well or something else.”
The changeup isn’t completely new to Wainwright, explaining that he got away from the pitch as his cutter became more of the compliment to a harder slider.
“Now I’m having fun creating that mix that hopefully the hitters don’t know what in the heck’s coming,” he said.
The right delivery has come through trial and error–and some advice from teammate Zach Duke.
“I was having a hard time staying on top of the pitch,” Wainwright shared. “When I threw ones that I thought were really great, I’d go back and watch film or talk to hitters and they’d say ‘yeah, I just see a wrist pointed at me or it looks like you’re kind of pushing it’. I’m like really? It ended up right where I wanted it to. It looked great from my point of view, but then I’d go back and look at them and say yeah, these guys are right.
“What he told me was just concentrate on keeping your thumb down, trying to have your thumb down when you throw it. I don’t know, it seems like things kind of fell in place after that.”