(BaseballStL) — Adam Wainwright’s Thursday performance was perhaps the best of the season thus far, and Friday’s encore promises two pitchers that could challenge it.
Michael Wacha is squared off against Gio Gonzalez, and both have dominant experience against each other’s club.
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Wacha has faced the Nationals just once before, but in that September 24 matchup he took a no hitter into the ninth before surrendering a two-out single.
Gonzalez has faced the Cardinals twice, holding them to a .200 average in 16 innings. His 1.13 ERA combined with a .87 WHIP sets up an impressive pitching matchup to follow last night’s one-sided affair.
While St. Louis had trouble with errors in Milwaukee, Washington’s four fielding gaffes last night moved them to 20 on the season. The club is worst in the major leagues, and a full four errors ahead of the next team, the Miami Marlins.
The Nationals’ shortstop, Ian Desmond, has seven errors on his own. That puts him tied with or worse than nine entire TEAMS.
Jhonny Peralta leads the Cardinals in errors with three.
Both clubs have three pitchers in the top 33 for strikeouts so far in the NL. Wainwright and Stephen Strasburg are both in the top four with 32 and 33 respectively. Lance Lynn is 12th with 22, and Wacha is tied for 21st with 18. Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman both have 17. For your curiosity, the Reds’ Johnny Cueto leads the race with 35.
Big City has a four game hit streak going. Were it not for his 0-for-4 day against the Cubs, it would be 10. He has gone hitless in only four games so far, and has eight multi-hit performances. His 22 hits are good for ninth in the MLB, though the leader is a five-way tie at 24. In the NL he trails only Paul Goldschmidt as the best-hitting first baseman, and he leads the best AL first baseman (Albert Pujols) by five hits.