Yesterday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers was the debut of the new home-Saturday-only St. Louis Cardinals uniforms. I like the look a lot now that I saw the entire team in them — much more so than when they were announced in November, although I still think they were unnecessary and just created for the sales opportunity. (What about the rest of you who chimed in at the time?)
Anyway, my guess is Adam Wainwright is a big fan of the new threads. Actually, my guess is all the Cardinals are. Hard to dislike anything when the pitchers haven’t allowed a run since the fourth inning on Tuesday and the offense has scored 25 runs in that same time frame. And it’s pretty much hard to find anything at all to dislike about Saturday’s 8-0 win.
A quick summary of the game: Wainwright did it all.
More details? A complete game shutout in which he walked none (and still hasn’t in 2013), struck out 12 (tying a career high, and getting Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks three times each), allowed four hits, got three hits of his own (including two in the seven-run sixth inning) and drove in two runs. Similar to Shelby Miller on Friday, Wainwright threw 115 total pitches and 84 were strikes.
Oh, and this was his first home game at Busch Stadium this year — so his first game since signing his contract extension. I think he likes it in St. Louis.
So much that he might have played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on harmonica for the seventh inning stretch also. (Maybe not. But he certainly could have, and it no doubt would have been spectacular.)
Waino led the team in hits for the day and tied Matt Holliday for most RBI. Overall the Cards had 11 hits, with David Freese’s third inning double the only extra base hit. Jon Jay had two hits, both in the sixth inning so both following Wainwright’s hits. And the latter enjoyed the day, as Jenifer Langosch wrote:
“I felt kind of like it was high school,” Wainwright said afterward. “I used to be able to hit a little bit, so it’s nice to every now and then put a good swing on the ball. That was a fun game.”
Of course, some of us find fun in watching terrific pitching — which Wainwright obviously also had working for him, as Langosch further detailed:
Adding an improved changeup to his repertoire and varying his pitch sequencing has seemingly made Wainwright — already among the league’s elite — even more formidable. On Saturday, he garnered strikeouts on four different pitches — his sinker, cutter, four-seam fastball and curveball.
“That was exactly how you design pitching,” manager Mike Matheny said. “This year, he’s back to himself. He’s healthy. I think he has evolved as a pitcher. I think seasons like last year teach you how to pitch more than just rely on stuff. He’s expanding a little bit.”
Some interesting facts about Waino’s numbers, from ESPN’s Stats & Info:
Wainwright threw a four-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts and no walks. Only one Cardinals pitcher has had such a start in baseball’s live-ball era (which began in 1920). That would be Bob Gibson, who had a 12-strikeout, no-walk, four-hit shutout against the Chicago Cubs in 1964 and a 13-whiff, walk-free four-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds in 1968.
The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Wainwright is first pitcher since 1900 with at least 24 strikeouts and no walks in his first three starts of a season.
Wainwright is the second player since 1900 to throw a shutout with at least 10 strikeouts and go 3-3 or better from the plate. The other was Bobo Newsom for the 1934 St. Louis Browns (against the Philadelphia Athletics).
He’s also the first player with a 12-strikeout shutout AND three hits at the plate since Red Ruffing for the 1932 New York Yankees against the Washington Senators.
Want to see a glimpse of his great day for yourself, or just marvel again? Here’s a look at Wainwright’s (many) highlights from the mound, while this will give you a look at all three of his hits.
That new uniform looks pretty good, wouldn’t you say?
This afternoon Jaime Garcia will attempt the sweep of the Brewers, as well as attempt to keep the scoreless streak alive. Marco Estrada pitches for the Brewers, with game time at 1:15 p.m. Central Time.
Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.