(BaseballStL) -- This is not good. Not in the least. It's one thing if Jake Westbrook falters. They can replace him with Michael Wacha. Big deal. It's one thing if Lance Lynn scuffles. They can make him their 4th or 5th starter come playoff time and not need him to make crucial appearances in October.
But it's quite another thing if Adam Wainwright is not in form. And giving up 15 runs in eight innings over two starts is most certainly not his form.
Is this a Reds thing considering they're the ones who have tattooed him both times? Or is this a Wainwright thing where he's completely off mechanically? I suppose only time will tell. But one thing we know this second. It is very difficult to imagine the St. Louis Cardinals making a World Series run if their ace is pitching like this.
You can only mash opponents into submission so often. And, more often than not, pitching wins in October. Not hitting. Sure, the Redbirds defied logic and history in 2011 by using their bats to get a ring. But history has proven time and time again that the team that pitches the best wins the most. Ask the San Francisco Giants.
Right now Joe Kelly is the only starter who is getting the job done consistently. Too much is being put on his shoulders. It's just not fair to keep asking him to be the one to put an end to losing streaks. For one, he's too inexperienced. For another, he could lose it any moment now. And then this rotation will be in complete chaos.
Usually, when Wainwright has gone through stuff like this in his career there's been some underlying mechanical problem that gets discovered along the way. Typically he fixes it and then flourishes from there on out. A few seasons ago his arm slot was, unbeknownst to him, completely out of whack. Chris Carpenter discovered it in a bullpen session and Wainwright took off from there.
In spring training this year while signing an autographed photo from a fan, Wainwright noticed his stride was a lot longer than it had been. He then made the adjustment.
Is it something so simple this time? Well, to be honest, it has to be. Adam Wainwright is too big, too strong and just flat out too good to pitch like this. He isn't fatigued. He isn't losing his stuff. His command is the problem and that usually means something is wrong with his delivery.
There's only a few weeks in the regular season left for someone - anyone - to figure out what it is. Otherwise, it could be a very long (or should I say short?) October run.