(BaseballStL) -- Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright wanted to throw his last start against the Reds, which happened four days ago, far away from his memory bank.
“The hardest part is the four days in between starts to sit here and mull over what just happened,” Wainwright said after allowing nine runs in two innings pitched on August 28. “The best thing I can do with this start is to throw it away and just realize I’m a very good pitcher. I’ll be ready for my next start.”
Monday afternoon in Cincinnati would mark his next start, a chance for redemption, and the first chance since recording the shortest start of his eight-year career for Wainwright.
But the chance of any rebound would be squandered by the Reds early again.
After adding a run in the first inning, the Reds began to roll with a leadoff ground-rule double by Todd Frazier. Zack Cosart would single to score Frazier for a 2-0 lead before advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Shin-Soo Choo followed with a two-run blast, his 19th of the season, on Wainwright’s 27th pitch thrown in the game.
The damage was a four-run Cardinals deficit after two innings of play.
Unable to solve the Reds on the mound, Wainwright smacked a double to right-center field to lead off the third inning and scored on a double by Matt Carpenter. Jon Jay laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Carpenter to third before Matt Holliday hit a sacrifice fly to drive in his 74th run this season.
Back to trailing by two runs, Wainwright gave up a leadoff double to Jay Bruce, who would score three batters later on a one-out single by Frazier for a 5-2 lead. Later in the inning, Wainwright tied Dizzy Dean for second place among Cardinals pitchers with 1,095 strikeouts after Latos fell victim to a nasty curveball to end the third-inning threat.
The Reds wouldn’t be done with Wainwright.
Joey Votto blasted a solo home run, his 21st home run this season, in the fourth inning to give the Reds their second four-run lead of the game. It also marked the eighth consecutive inning the Reds scored at least one run off Wainwright dating back to June 7 when he allowed a run in each of his final two innings pitched.
Finally in the fifth inning, Wainwright recorded his first scoreless inning in his last nine innings pitched against the Reds.
An eight-pitch sixth inning would mark the final work for Wainwright as he exited with St. Louis down 6-2.
It was another disappointing start for Wainwright who was looking forward to erase the damage the Reds inflicted on the Cardinals in a 10-0 loss last week. Monday’s results weren’t as bad as the nine runs allowed on eight hits over two innings in his last start, but it wasn’t the outing the Cardinals could have used.
The six runs allowed on 10 hits and two walks over six innings on Monday coupled with last week’s debacle have raised Wainwright’s ERA from 2.58 to 3.14. His ERA in his last two starts alone is 16.88 (15 runs/8 innings).
So what’s wrong with Wainwright? Is it mechanical or ‘dead arm’? Do the Reds just have his number? That’s all to be determined, but whatever it is can’t be good for the Cardinals’ division hopes.