Adam Wainwright: Bullpen Saver

I like playing “Good, Better, Best.” So, I really like it when the Redbirds get a win that afford that opportunity!

After a disappointing series with Pittsburgh, the Astros — including their newest former-Cardinal, Tyler Greene — came to town today. And thanks to some timely hitting, fancy defense, and stellar pitching, the Cardinals righted the ship, winning 7-0 over the ‘Stros.

So, here we go.

Good

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The first inning was very, very good for the Cards. This one-out single from Skip Schumaker plated two and made the lead 4-0.

Better

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I heart defense. And Raffy — when he’s healthy — is all about it. With Adam Wainwright pitching a gem, there were a couple of clutch defensive plays that kept things scoreless. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

Best

Speaking of Waino …

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The complete-game, 5-hit, 12-strikeout shutout was nice, too.

(Oh, you weren’t talking about the high socks? Weird. My bad …)

But seriously, I know it’s the Astros and they’re not exactly playing good baseball these days. But do we even remember why we questioned Adam earlier this year? The man is on fire, and it couldn’t come at a better time.

Oh, there’s also this: “From Stats Inc… Wainwright is 1st #STLcards pitcher to walk in consecutive team games since 8/10/1924 (Bill Sherdel). #Walkin20s” — @Tim_Trokey

In case you hadn’t heard, Waino es bueno. (Although, in this case I suppose Waino es mejor … no?)

The win moves the Cardinals within half a game of the Pirates for second place in the division, and the all-important second wild card spot.

 

In other news, the Cardinals resigned starting pitcher Jake Westbrook to a one-year deal. Here’s the details from Jenifer Langosch:

The extension negates the 2013 mutual option that had been a part of Westbrook’s current contract. That option, which both parties could have exercised this offseason, was to be worth $8.5 million. Now Westbrook will earn $8.75 million next season and will carry a $9.5 million mutual option (with a $1 million buyout) for 2014.

“I’m super excited to get this done,” Westbrook said on Tuesday. “It gives me a peace of mind knowing I’m going to be back here. My family and I have really settled in here and are excited to be back.”

With the signing, the 2013 starting rotation begins to take shape. Who will be joining him next spring?

Tonight, it’s Astro Bud Norris against Kyle Lohse as the Cards try to ensure a series win. First pitch at 7:15. Go Cards!

Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.

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