(BaseballStL) -- With Jake Westbrook returning to the starting rotation this week, Michael Wacha didn’t help his chances of staying with the big league club during the first inning of Tuesday’s start against the New York Mets.
Wacha needed 37 pitches, including only 17 strikes, to get through the first inning. The Mets jumped on the 21-year-old righty with two hits, including a solo home run by Omar Quintanilla, and three walks to take a 2-0 lead. Marlon Byrd his a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score the second run of the inning.
The Mets failed to produce with the bases loaded again to end the first inning. The golden opportunity chance would not come around again for them.
Wacha allowed three hits and didn’t issue another walk over the next five scoreless innings for the Cardinals, who jumped ahead 6-2 after six innings. He needed only 65 pitches, including 45 strikes, to get through the final five innings pitched.
He exited the game after the sixth inning, and in line for his first major league win in his career. The Cardinals added two runs in the seventh inning for an 8-2 lead before bringing in their first reliever of the game, Randy Choate.
Shane Robinson homered to make it 9-2 and give Wacha his first career win.
It was an impressive rebound for the rookie starter in just his third major league start. It might be even more impressive considering his previous start, a no-decision in a 14-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 4. He allowed six runs on 10 hits and a walk in 4.2 innings pitched.
The strong rebound might give general manager John Mozeliak a tough decision this week. Who should be sent down -- Tyler Lyons or Michael Wacha -- when Jake Westbrook returns this Friday?
Wacha might be the best option to head back to Memphis considering the team was reluctant to bring him up this season. There is still a lot that needs to be improved with Wacha in terms of some of his pitches.
He has still been rather impressive through his first three starts.