Wainwright chases first Opening Day win, defines goals for 2014

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by JJ Bailey / BaseballStL | @TheJJBailey

KMOV.com

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 31 at 8:59 AM

(KMOV.com) — Adam Wainwright will get another crack at an Opening Day win Monday. The Cardinal ace takes the hill against Cincinnati with a chance to finally open the season with a victory; something that has eluded him thus far. 

“Winning is the ultimate,” he said. “Start as many of them as you want. If you don’t win them, you’re going to lose a little bit of greatness on that day.”

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Wainwright lost to the Pirates in 2009 and to the Diamondbacks in 2013 in his previous Opening Day starts. 

Coming into his third opportunity, the 32-year-old hurler feels like he’s coming of a perfect March. 

“I feel like I accomplished exactly what I wanted to accomplish in spring training,” he said. 

His line was certainly something to be happy about. A 1.59 ERA and .66 WHIP were capped with a 15.1 inning streak without surrendering a run. 

In addition, the Georgia native says he added to his already substantial arsenal. 

“I have some new toys this year that I’m gonna have fun playing with,” he smiled .

Maintaining that he’s a much different pitcher than the one the Reds battered around in the second half last season, Wainwright stopped shy of defining any goals for 2014 related to wins or innings. 

“The only goal I’ve made known to the public is to have less walks than starts,” he said. He also said he wants to make all of his starts on the season. “I feel like if I make all my starts, everything else will fall into place.”

Wainwright missed out on the walks goal by one last season, walking 35 batters in 34 starts. 

As 2014 begins and the leader of the rotation makes his third attempt at winning the season opener, the newest member, Joe  Kelly, voiced his confidence. 

“We basically think we’re going to win every game when he pitches,” he said. “It’s great to have him out there. He’s a great leader, great ace and to have that guy going for us Opening Day, there’s no better option than him.”

Monday’s game starts at 3:10 CST. 

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