Wainwright delivers in the first inning. (Post-Dispatch photo)
Adam Wainwright still has a way to go to recapture the form that made him staff ace and a Cy Young candidate.
In the space of 5 innings and a pretty high 88 pitches, Wainwright gave up 7 hits – 2 of them home runs – and 4 earned runs. He struck out 5 and only walked 1, and he got first-pitch strikes on more than half the batters he faced. But he got beat up again, and his 2012 ERA is over 11. His career ERA is 3.02.
Bronson Arroyo, who the Cardinals usually have for lunch, was unusually effective at Busch today – 8 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs (and that only because Matt Holliday broke out of a brief slump and homered with 2 aboard) and 5 Ks.
Other than Holliday’s shot, the offense didn’t produce much. In fact, they haven’t scored a single run in Wainwright’s 14 innings of work so far this young season.
It’s noteworthy that, historically, pitchers need two seasons to come all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Wainwright’s mate Chris Carpenter, again on the DL right now, had surgery in 2007, started only 3 games in 2008, then went 17-4 in 2009, with a league-leading 2.24 ERA and came in 2nd in the Cy Young voting, right behind San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and just ahead of Wainwright.
On to Pittsburgh.