Adam Wainwright has started 5 games since ‘pipeshot-gate‘.
When he was tabbed the NL starting pitcher in the ’14 All-Star Game, Cardinals fans and some media were staunch in their belief that Wainwright was deserving the nod over LA Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. They weren’t wrong.
It was a close call, but the right one.
Further, many expected the 2nd half of the season to be an extended duel for the Cy Young Award between Wainwright and Kershaw.
Since 07/22 (the 1st game back from ASG break), Wainwright’s ERA has jumped from 1.92 to 2.34. That’s still third best in the NL behind Kershaw and Cincinnati starter Johnny Cueto – so overall Wainwright is, by any measure, having a statistically great year.
But his chances of nabbing his first Cy Young have most likely been irreparably damaged by this 5 start stretch. He’s now got 5 more losses than Kershaw and trails the Dodgers ace by a full WAR point.
Awards aside, Wainwright hasn’t gone past the 7th inning in any start since the ASG. The 7 games prior to the ASG, he had gone to at least the 7th inning every time with 3 games seeing him complete the 8th inning.
He’s also surrender an AVERAGE of 7 hits per game these last five starts. But before the ASG, he hadn’t given up MORE than 7 hits since May 30th in San Fransisco (8).
Listen, Wainwright is 14-7 with a 2.34 ERA, 138 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP. He’s a 4.8 WAR player on a very average team. Barring an injury, he’ll be in the top 5 of the NL Cy Young voting.
Still – since the All-Star Game, Wainwright hasn’t been the tour-de-force that he was prior.
Can we rule out a hangover from being dragged through the muck from the national sporting media? Not totally.
But if the Cardinals are going to actually catch and surpass the Brewers in the NL Central, it’s going to have to be the best player on the team that leads the charge. For the third time in five games, Wainwright was outplayed.
Photo: Diamond Diaries