(BaseballStL) — Adam Wainwright has never had a one-hitter in his illustrious career. Thursday, he flirted with one all the way into the ninth inning.
With the Nationals down to their final out, the big St. Louis righty surrendered his second hit of the game.
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It wouldn’t take too much out of him, as he struck out Ian Desmond in three strikes to follow, but the 32-year-old would finish with his fourth two-hitter in seven seasons as a starter.
The Cardinal ace was masterful throughout, striking out eight while throwing just 110 pitches. After intentionally walking Jose Lobaton in the second inning, Wainwright would retire 18 straight Nationals until the eighth, when he walked Steven Souza Jr. on a 3-2 fastball.
He did it with an impressive mix of pitches, dealing nearly an equal amount of curveballs and cutters (unofficially 32 to 31), with sinkers and fastballs nearly tied as secondary pitches. His curveball led the way with 10 outs, but he was able to get nine with the cutter as well.
In St. Louis after his start against the Cubs, Wainwright said he felt like he was close to controlling everything, and in his fourth start of the year he put it all together for his third win.
“He was really mixing up as well as we’ve seen him mix it up in a long time. Using everything both sides, knowing when he wanted to go off the plate just a little bit,” Mike Matheny told assembled media in Washington D.C. “You give him that kind of stuff, and with his sense- and with Yadi’s back there, his instincts on how to use it- it makes for a fun day for us to watch.”
It was Wainwright’s seventh shutout, and his 17th complete game. The Cardinals are now 10-6.