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Adam Wainwright opens his postseason with nine-K gem

Oct 3, 2013, 8:49 PM EDT

Adam Wainwright Getty Images

Adam Wainwright has closed for a World Series winner. He’s still looking to make it back to the Fall Classic as a starter.

Demonstrating even better control of his curveball than usual, Wainwright kicked off the Cardinals’ latest postseason run on a strong note Thursday, allowing three hits over seven innings and striking out nine in an 8-1 win over the Pirates. He improved to 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 39 2/3 postseason innings. His K/BB ratio is an exceptional 49/6.

Wainwright has had some good luck and some bad in the postseason. Of course, he was exceptional in the closer’s role for the 2006 champs, pitching 9 2/3 scoreless innings and picking up four saves. However, in his lone start in 2009, he was denied a win matched up with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw after allowing one run in eight innings (Ryan Franklin blew the save). In 2012, he was bailed out after giving up six runs in 2 2/3 innings in a decisive Game 5 against the Nationals, as the Cardinals came back and won. They went on to lose to the Giants in the LCS despite a win from Wainwright in his only start.

Wainwright finished the regular season on a four-game winning streak, leaving him 19-9 with a 2.94 ERA. Thanks to Kershaw, he’ll again be denied a Cy Young Award — he is looking at a top three finish for the third time — but he might have the chance to get the better of the Dodgers ace later this month.

  1. metalhead65 - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    wait you mean the pirates did not win it all with the win over the reds? you would have thought the way they and their fans reacted they were world series champions. how does the pressure of actually playing in a playoff game feel? and by no means am I rooting for the cards just wondering why the pirates did not show up tonight.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:55 PM

      That had a bad game. It happens.
      Remember the 2004 Red Sox? They lost an ALCS game by 11.
      Remember the 2006 Cardinals? They lost an NLCS game by 7
      Remember the 2007 Red Sox? They lost an ALCS game by 7

      Frankly, the Pirates can get swept and it would be totally fine for Pittsburgh to throw them a fucking parade at this point.

  2. ashlynkat - Oct 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Honestly, I think the Reds rolling over against the Pirates for four straight games came back to bite the Bucs. Even in the do-or-die Wild Card games the Reds could hardly even muster any sort of challenge and for a young team getting their first taste of the post season it must have been hard not to get caught up in the lull of buying into your own hype and “destiny”.

    This game against the Cards was a punch in the mouth and certainly a wake up call that nothing is going to be given to the Pirates. If they want a pennant and a World Series ring than they need go out and get it.

    The Cards have been there and done that so they knew what to expect but for the Pirates this will be a key moment for them and how they respond to the taste of blood in their mouth. Will they spit it out, wipe their face and come back swinging or will they find out that “destiny” and October don’t always agree with each other.

    • perryt200 - Oct 4, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

      ― Mike Tyson

  3. jre80 - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Waino=thoroughbred

  4. stlouis1baseball - Oct 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    Wow. The comments from Pirates fans are shocking. It’s one damn game.
    With the Cardinals throwing Jekyl & Hyde today you shouldn’t be throwing in the towel.
    Please believe me…most knowledgeable Cardinals fans aren’t counting their chickens.
    It. Was. One. Game.

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