Athletics News · Waino Watch: Wainwright makes first start of 2021 season


Waino Watch

Today, GCS Athletics publishes “Waino Watch” which details the latest pitching outing for Adam Wainwright, a former Glynn Academy standout and current veteran pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

 

Adam Wainwright made his first start on the mound Saturday afternoon for the St. Louis Cardinals who were taking on the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of their 2021 season which opened on Thursday.

In the game at the Great American Ballpark in Cincy, Wainwright gave up six runs to the Reds in a bizarre third inning and he would leave the hill with two outs in the inning.

The Reds went on to win the game 9-6 after dropping the season opener to the Cardinals on Thursday.

Former Glynn Academy star Adam Wainwright made his first start of the 2021 season for the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday in Cincinnati.

Wainwright breezed through the first two innings, and the Cardinals led 1-0 going to the third.

He allowed a leadoff walk before Tucker Barnhardt belted a two-run home run to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. The Reds would string together six more hits and plate four more runs off Wainwright in the inning, but it wasn’t like they ripped the cover off the ball.

The Reds placed runners on second and third when two of their next four batters reached on singles with one of those being a hit on the infield. They scored their third run on another infield single, and following another single to left, yet another infield single brought home the fourth run for the Reds.

The sixth and final hit of the inning was a single into center field which brought home two more runs that made the score 6-1 and ended the day for Wainwright.

According to game analytics, only one at-bat by the Reds produced a batted ball with an exit velocity above 100 mph. Two of the hits by the Reds failed to surpass 66 mph.

“I’m not sure I’ve been a part of an inning like that, honestly,” Wainwright told reporters after the game. “You hate to say it, but I had a lot of bad luck out there.”

Wainwright is beginning his 16th season with the Cardinals. He is currently the oldest active player in the National League at age 39.

Wainwright and Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina were working together for the 275th time on Saturday. Only five pitcher-catcher combinations have worked as batterymates for more games than these two.

Wainwright and Molina have been teammates in St. Louis for 17 seasons, dating back to 2005. That’s the most in franchise history and the most by any combo in the major leagues since Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera who played for the New York Yankees from 1993-2013.

The last two players in the NL to be teammates for 17 seasons were Pete Rose and Tony Perez, but they did it with two teams. They were with the Reds for 16 seasons (1964-76, ’84-86) and Philadelphia (1983). The last two NL players to play 17 seasons together on one team were Bill Mazeroski and Roberto Clemente for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1956-72), according to Elias.

Wainwright was coming off a strong spring when he made six starts for the Cardinals and threw 22.1 innings, allowing six runs while striking out 21 and walking four. He had a 2.42 ERA. Wainwright struck out seven batters in six innings when he started against Washington on March 23. He allowed one run on two hits in that game before leaving.

Wainwright signed a one-year contract with the Cardinals in late January. He was a free-agent in the offseason. Last year, he finished the abbreviated season with a 5-3 record and a 3.15 ERA.

Wainwright is scheduled to make his second start Thursday in the Cardinals’ home opener  against Milwaukee.

“It’s so special to pitch at Busch Stadium in front of our people, in front of our fans,” he told reporters late in spring training when it was made known he’d start the first game in St. Louis.

Wainwright has started five previous home openers for the Cardinals.

—— Compiled by Kevin Price