Vaughn: Cards need Wacha again

Vaughn: Cards need Wacha again

Michael Wacha, 22, won two games during the NLCS and allowed zero runs! Wacha pitched 7 scoreless innings during the Cards NLCS Game 6 to propel the Cards past the Dodgers.

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by Doug Vaughn / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on October 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

(BaseballStL) - After that hideous World Series opener that may have left you wondering how the Cardinals made it this far, they'll be counting on a 22-year-old rookie in Game 2 to keep them from falling into a deep hole; but that rookie is Michael  Wacha, who has been nothing short of magnificent this postseason.

Wacha has made three postseason starts so far and allowed exactly one run in 21 innings. His era is a ridiculous 0.43.

He's never faced the sort of intense atmosphere he'll be engulfed in at Fenway Park, but says he can't wait to pitch. 

"I want the ball in big situations," Wacha said. "There's none bigger than the World Series. I'm excited about getting it. I think every guy on our team wants the ball in this situation."

The Red Sox haven't seen Wacha yet, and that usually plays to the pitcher's advantage. He wouldn't give away the game plan when talking about his approach against the Boston lineup, but says he'll be ready to make adjustments throughout the game.

"You go with whatever works. First time going through and seeing them you try to see what their weaknesses are and attacks those a little more. I just try to go out there and do what I do. Pound the strike zone and make effective pitches."

Mike Matheny had confidence in Wacha to use him in a starting role early in the postseason. But he couldn't have imagined that Wacha would be as dominant as he's been so far.

"He's a guy who can throw in the high 90's," said Matheny. "That puts him in a different group all by itself. But he has a good feel for when he needs to use certain portions of the plate, when he needs to expand the zone, and those are things that are really tough to teach a young pitcher."

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