Winning cures all, right — at least for the day?
And Adam Wainwright and Matt Adams made sure the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Oakland A’s on Saturday. Wainwright’s complete game and Adams’ two homers and four RBI led the Cards to the 7-1 victory — which was very nice to see following the previous two games.
He allowed only five hits and obviously just the one run, striking out eight and walking two. Thankfully, it was done without any drama too — although Dan and Al on Fox Sorts Midwest made sure we knew all about last Sunday night’s comments from Waino and Matheny and subsequent apologies and conversations between player and manager as they went on and on and on and on about it one early inning (and perhaps even further on than that — had to mute my TV, which was just the first of several times yesterday. Those two were extra, and extra annoyingly, chatty.)
Anyway, Waino kept the A’s hitless until the third, had the awesome curveball working very well and gave up the only run in the eighth on back-to-back hits. As was said many times on Twitter, his performance was what aces do.
The win was no. 11 for Waino, which ties him for the National League lead with Jordan Zimmermann. He lowered his ERA to 2.22, which ties him with Patrick Corbin for fourth in the NL. He now has 115 strikeouts, fifth best in the NL. The complete game was his fourth of the season, which leads the majors.
Although, while Jarrod Parker was in the game, it was a pitchers’ duel. Parker held the Cards hitless until the third and, after throwing a pitch that Allen Craig hit deep to center for a double, fell to the ground clutching his right leg. He left the game as a result, with the initial call being tightness in his hamstring.
In came Jesse Chavez and, in the fifth, there went any ideas for a pitchers’ duel. A walk to Matt Adams was followed by Chavez hitting David Freese with a pitch, and a Jon Jay sacrifice bunt moved the two up to second and third. That allowed Adams to score easily on a fly ball to center hit by Daniel Descalso — yes, Matt Adams scoring on a sac fly! — and Freese to score on a single by Matt Carpenter.
Yet the fun was just beginning for Adams, the man of seemingly a thousand nicknames that all — of course — start with the word Big: Big City, Big Man, Big Mayo, Big Cheeseburger … The only one that doesn’t seem to work for me is Big Man, which is now Danny Mac’s nickname of choice for him. And, honestly, my objection has nothing to do with Danny Mac saying it. Really. But he’s obviously not a Bruce Springsteen fan. If he was, he’d know there is only one Big Man — or was only one — and that was Clarence Clemons. Besides, Matt Adams is 24 years old. He’s a Big Kid.
Whatever you want to call him, No. 53 came up in the sixth after Carlos Beltran doubled and Allen Craig singled. And, boom, he did this — which was his first homer on the road this season.
Then, in the eighth, he did it again — although this one wasn’t quite as much of a no-doubter in the big expanse that is the O.co Coliseum. First career two-homer game (first of many, right?), career high with four RBI in the game — all in all a nice day that we can thank interleague play for. Because, whether you like playing the AL or not, it does provide more opportunities for Adams to get in a game.
The Cardinals will try to win their 50th game of the season this afternoon, and take the series as well, beginning at 3:05 p.m. Jake Westbrook goes for the Cardinals against Tommy Milone for the A’s. In addition, the Cards will try to take back the NL Central lead — the Pirates hold a one-game lead after winning their eighth straight, and 50th game, yesterday.
Christine Coleman is the senior 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.