After sailing along through the early parts of his last start, Adam Wainwright ran into trouble when he tried to make sure he didn’t let up. The change worked against him then, but it kept him on course in this afternoon as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Mets 4-1.
“Last game was a good lesson for me,” said Wainwright. “I’ve proven when I’m out there just pitching, making pitches, executing pitches things work out like they’re supposed to work out. Last game, I got through four beautifully, then the 5th inning, I thought alright–now I’m not going to give in. I need to go make sure I’m going hard at it. Like you said, just stay the course. Do the exact same thing until they make you prove you have to do something different.”
Wainwright finished with a line of 6.2 innings pitched with five hits and only one earned run, which came on a home run. He struck out seven batters with zero walks. And the victory improved his mark to 10-5 for the season–the fifth time in his career to reach ten wins before the All-Star break.
“Yeah, I’m in good shape,” said Wainwright. “Obviously, the ERA is not where I want it to be. You take a couple of those games out–the last 5th inning away from my last start, you take Cincinnati, you take Baltimore–I know you can’t do that, but in my mind that’s where I’m taking it. You take Baltimore, you take Cincinnati, you take that 5th inning away, I’m getting down where I need to be. So, now I can’t worry about that anymore. I just gotta keep going. If I continue to do what I’ve done the last few starts the rest of the year, we’re going to be in very good shape.”
Likewise, even though the Cardinals will not finish at the .500 mark before the All-Star break, Wainwright feels much better about the direction the club his headed.
“Big time,” he said. “A couple of weeks ago from where we are now, is a dramatic difference in the clubhouse feel in here. The amount of confidence we have going forward is just way higher than it was leading up to this point. It’s not where we want to be, obviously, but it’s creeping back to where we need to be.”
The difference in then and now?
“Winning,” stated Wainwright. “Guys coming up–Luke and Paul DeJong coming up here and changing some of the vibe. They’re exciting players. They’re hungry–that feeds off into old guys like me too. That’s why we were so great in Spring Training, we had a great mix of old and young guys out there that were having fun together and finding ways to win games. These young guys are coming up here and they’re hungry, and they want to win. Every clubhouse needs that.”
With today’s win, Wainwright tied Bill Doak for fifth place in franchise history with 144 career wins.