Posted on April 27, 2014 at 8:25 PM
(Baseball StL) -- Adam Wainwright is in his eighth full season in the major leagues, but says he's still learning how to pitch. Wainwright has changed his philosophy a bit this season, throwing more off speed pitches and fewer fastballs. It's working. Wainwright became the major league's first five game winner with a 7-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.
"I was having fun changing speeds out there with my curve ball, and my cutter too," said Wainwright. "I threw a couple of slower ones to see reactions. The best way to see if things are working is to try them game speed, and luckily things were working."
Wainwright went eight innings, struck out seven, and allowed only three and no runs.
Manager Mike Matheny said, "I just keep coming back to what it's teaching our younger pitchers. This guy who has had so many accomplishments in this game and a had a great career, and he's not afraid to figure out how he can get better."
Wainwright's earned run average is now at 1.20. ERA is generally the preferred stat for judging a pitchers effectiveness, but Waino says he's just as proud of the five wins he's racked up in April.
"To me if you're carrying your team deep into games, and you're winning games for your team... that's still a pretty important statistic. You can have all those other numbers working great, but if you're 0-and-34 who gives a crap?"
Wainwright is just the fourth Cardinals pitcher to win five games in the opening month, joining Darryl Kile (2000), Bob Tewksbury (1994) and John Denny (1977).