(BaseballStL) – Adam Wainwright did everything right to earn his eleventh victory of the season, expect one pitch in the eighth inning that resulted in the only run either team was able to score.
“Couldn’t get the run across the plate – they did,” manager Mike Matheny said following the loss, “It’s just one of those that’s had to swallow when you see your starter do as good of a job as he did.”
Both Wainwright and Dodgers’ starter Josh Beckett matched zeroes through seven innings, as both starters gave up only five hits. Until the eighth inning, Wainwright had only allowed one base-runner to reach second as he amassed seven strike outs.
“He didn’t really even have anything going on until the sixth,” Matheny continued, “Then the seventh was clean. He’s walking into the eighth with 83 pitches and looking as good then as any other point. They just happened to put a couple together.”
Two of those strike outs came in the eighth after giving up the only run. With two runners on and only one out, Wainwright faced Dodgers’ lead-off hitter Dee Gordon. After getting ahead of Gordon 0-2 with a cutter and a fastball, Wainwright threw two curve-balls that missed and evened the count. But after a foul from Gordon on a 93 mph fastball, Wainwright threw another off-speed curve-ball that Gordon whiffed at.
Then with two outs, Yasiel Puig stepped into the box with the opportunity to expand the Dodgers’ lead as runners were planted at second and third. Puig was 0 for 3 as he grounded into a double play and was called out on strikes earlier in the game.
Wainwright threw three straight sinkers to Puig, two were strikes before dialing up another 79 mph curve-ball that Puig missed sending the game into the ninth.
“We get to second and third, one out and able to pull off a couple of strike outs,” Matheny continued to praise his starter, “That’s who he is. I think you see Adam showing in those situations when he’s got to come up with something really good, he’s got it in him.”
The Cardinals had life in the ninth with a one out single from Matt Adams. But the opportunity was squandered as pinch-runner Peter Bourjos was tagged out at second and easily stealing the base.