(BaseballStL) -- Looking to salvage a game before departing St. Louis, the Reds offense came out swinging against Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright for a 10-0 win on Wednesday.
Wainwright entered the game on a high note after hurling his major league-best fifth complete game in his last start. But the National League’s leader in wins was left hanging his head low after two innings of offensive fury dented his Cy Young credentials and before the crowd of 35,698 could find their seats.
“All you can say is they came out ready to play,” Wainwright said. “I was focused. I had a good plan and just didn’t execute some pitches and then the pitches I did execute found holes. It’s just a really bad night, perfect storm.”
Eight of the 16 batters faced swung at the first pitch against Wainwright. Six of those first-pitch swings were put into play.
Without an out recorded, the Cardinals fell to a three-run deficit after five consecutive batters reached base to start the game.
Shin-Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips each singled through the infield before Joey Votto walked on seven pitches to load the bases. In the next at-bat, Jay Bruce drove in two runs with a single. Ryan Ludwick followed with an RBI-double to drive in the third run and his fourth hit in 11 at-bats against Wainwright.
Zero outs. Three runs.
The first out came when sixth-place hitter Todd Frazier grounded out to second base. Still a run would score, the fourth of the inning. With a runner on third base, Zack Cozart hit a sharp ground ball to Allen Craig at first base, but a flinch to throw towards third and no one covering at first resulted with a single.
The first inning troubles continued when Ludwick scored the fifth run of the inning on a wild pitch. Ryan Hanigan grounded out later following the wild pitch. Without throwing a single pitch in the game, opposing starter Homer Bailey drove in his first run of the season with a single to center field.
The bullpen began to stir by this point as Wainwright got Choo, the tenth batter of the inning, to ground out to end the six-run first inning.
After 35 pitches, the Reds led 6-0 through one inning of play.
Wainwright, who had pitched seven or more innings in each of his last seven starts, wouldn’t find a groove in the second inning either. Phillips led off with a single followed by another walk from Votto.
In stepped Bruce. The Reds right fielder continued his personal success off Wainwright with a 438-foot three-run home run, the second of his career against the ace and his fifth RBI of the game. The career .258 hitter is now 9-for-26 (.346) off Wainwright.
Manager Mike Matheny pulled Wainwright at the end of the second inning. He threw a season-low 53 pitches and allowed all nine runs scored in the game. His ERA went from 2.58 to 2.96.
“Tough night,” Matheny said. “Everybody has them and just get ready for the next one.”
Matheny and Wainwright downplayed the poor outing as a result of any fatigue from throwing a season-high 128 pitches on August 23.
“I’m a big, strong man,” the 6-foot-7, 235-pound starter said. “This is what we train for all offseason and all season long to be ready for games like this. This could have happened in May. I felt fine. I felt great. I was pretty sharp in the bullpen. What can you say?”
The rough outing came as a surprise for Wainwright who said he was so sharp in the bullpen that he believed he could have thrown a 72-pitch shutout on Wednesday. Instead, he plans to scratch the outing the shortest outing of his career from his memory.
“This is just one of those...you just got to throw it away,” Wainwright said. “You’d like to say you had something to learn in every game, today is just something I’m going to forget about and go back to pitching. Next start I’ll be fine.”