Michael Wacha, the boy wonder, has done it again.
This time, though, it was on a stage far brighter — and louder — than he’s ever known before. You wouldn’t know that from watching him, though.
Just 18 months removed from college ball, Wacha was given the daunting task of beating the fairy-tale Pirates at home with the Cardinals’ season on the line. No pressure, or anything.
Just five months removed from his very first big league start, Wacha, who had made a couple trips back and forth between Memphis and St. Louis, took the mound with a rare combination of wide-eyed innocence and unflinching competitiveness. He wasn’t afraid of the rowdy crowd, the high stakes, or the hungry lineup he’d face. Perhaps he didn’t know to be scared. Perhaps he’s just that mature beyond his 22 years.
He was also just 13 days removed from his last start. You know, that one-hit affair with the Washington Nationals that could have been no-hitter, save for the infield hit with two outs in the ninth. That performance may have given Mike Matheny the extra confidence he needed to hand this rookie the ball on Monday.
Like Matheny has said before, a lot of things could have gone wrong. Fortunately for him, they did nothing of the sort. Continue reading