While Sunday’s game finished in a lopsided 13-4 victory for the St. Louis Cardinals, things in the first inning appeared to be more slanted towards Cincinnati getting the big win.
“A 45-pitch first inning was not how we wanted to come back from the DL, that’s for sure,” stated Adam Wainwright, who finished with a line of 3 innings pitched, 4 hits, 3 earned runs, 5 walks, 1 strikeout and 1 home run for a no-decision in his start.
“I think when you look at that game, it came down to a couple of key moments,” he continued. “Being able to get out of that inning with just the three runs gave our offense a chance to go out and do some really great things. Although, it was not perfect from my standpoint, obviously, I would’ve liked to have done a lot better, our offense did a great job. And I think Carp making that play at first base was one of the key plays of the game.”
With three runs already in and the bases loaded with no outs in the first, Carpenter snagged a ground ball and stepped on the bag at first before firing home to Molina to complete the double play.
“It’s amazing that he pitched out of that,” said Mike Matheny. “Three runs on the first three hitters and then we load them up — that’s just not real good odds of things turning out well but made some better pitches, a great double play of Carp to Yadi, and then he found a way to keep us in it for a little while.”
“Credit to Adam to staying locked in to try and induce a ground ball there,” said Carpenter. “In that situation, I’m looking–when we’ve got a starting pitcher on the ropes, all of us really are looking to make a play for him. I already had in my mind what I was going to do with the ball before it was hit to me. Thankfully, I made a throw–Yadi made a great pick and a great tag and we were able to get two on it.”
As he noted, this was the first start back for Wainwright since he was placed on the disabled list July 25 (retroactive to July 23) with stiffness in his mid-back.
“Back’s good,” said Wainwright. “About the third pitch of the game, I had a cut open up on my finger. Unfortunately, I think it affected my downhill plane on my fastball. I had no fastball command at all.”
“Yeah, didn’t have fastball command,” agreed Mike Matheny. “Kept trying to figure it out with his off-speed. I think in the second, he did a better job. He just took a little more off of everything, but just didn’t have the fastball really all day.”
“I backed off — I mean the first inning, I was throwing 92-93 if I wanted to but I had to back off completely to try and get the ball down,” said Wainwright. “Luckily, I was able to get some zeroes.”
“The very tip of your finger is kind of important when you’re pitching,” he continued. “When you’ve kind of already stepped away from baseball your feel is maybe not as great as it could be and then you have something physical that happens, something small like that to the tip of your finger might make a big difference. Who knows? I know that my arm was dragging behind me on my fastball, so I just backed off and started trying to command things better.”
Wainwright almost didn’t have the chance to adjust as those 45 pitches put him on the brink of being pulled from the game.
“Yeah, he was close,” acknowledged Matheny. “And that’s actually why we don’t really pitch to Barnhart, because if he’s pitching him careful it might take him five pitches. Throws him probably 47, instead of putting him on and taking best shot at Bailey. That’s the best chance of staying in the game at that point. We had Brebbia hot and probably would’ve had to go with him at that point.”
Siegrist to disabled list
To make room on the active roster for Wainwright, Kevin Siegrist was placed on the 10-day disabled list with left forearm tendinitis before the game.
“I think he’s constantly battling something here for a while,” Matheny. “Trying to pitch at times through it, sometimes probably the life of a pitcher.”
It was possible Siegrist could’ve been available to pitch today, but after finding out more about his situation he was placed on DL. Matheny said it was too early to know if the issue would require more than 10 days to heal.
With Siegrist on the DL, it reduces the Cards to “only” three lefties in the bullpen–Brett Cecil, Zach Duke, and Tyler Lyons.
“Just three is a whole lot more than a lot of other people,” pointed out Matheny. “Watching Tyler yesterday just continues to reinforce–not just against the lefties, we’ll be able to use him in some big situations lefty/righty regardless. Then Zach Duke is a guy we’ve been amazed how fast he’s been able to get back here and help out. We’re going to have to continue to try and figure out how to help Cecil get right, because when he does we think he can be a big impact for us also.”