Wacha looks to reprise first career win, Cards look to get bats - KMOV.com

Wacha looks to reprise first career win, Cards look to get bats in gear

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) — On the back of another dominant Adam Wainwright performance, the Cardinals notched their 12th win of the season Tuesday. 

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Wednesday they look to Michael Wacha for another suffocation of the Mets offense. The St. Louis offense has averaged three runs over the last six games, and that’s with an eight-run performance on April 17 pushing the average up. 

Wacha has been good for six to seven innings so far in four starts. His only time hitting 100 pitches was in his first start, which went 6.2 innings and resulted in no runs on three hits. 

His most recent start was perhaps is best, going seven innings on 93 pitches, striking out seven and allowing five hits without walking a batter. Unfortunately, the Cardinal defense faltered behind the young starter, allowing two unearned runs. 

Variety plus velocity

Wacha’s evolution was largely tied to his ability to develop a tertiary pitch. He fastball/change up combination is a tremendous force, but a deeper repertoire was something the budding star needed to bring into 2014. 

In his four appearances, he’s thrown 45 curveballs. In all of 2014, he through 109. He’s even begun working a cutter in consistently. In 2013, Wacha threw 27 cutters, good for 1.8 percent of all his pitches. So far this season, he’s thrown 39, which comes in at 10.5 percent. 

Diversity is beginning to take hold at the top of the Cardinal rotation. Wainwright’s polished four-pitch precision leads the way, but Wacha’s newfound depth should frighten hitters even more. Especially since he’s 10 years younger. 

Wacha’s first career win came on the road against the Mets last season. On June 11 he went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out four.

Birds needing bats

Jon Jay and Matt Holliday combined for five of the 10 hits Tuesday, while being responsible for all three RBIs. Allen Craig is 14-for-76 after going 0-for-5. 

After being an RBI machine a year earlier, he now has five on the season- tied with Kolten Wong and just three more than Adan Wainwright and Tony Cruz. 

Wainwright is hitting .417 on the year, with a double and two runs scored. 

Miserable Met

No one is suffering more than Curtis Granderson. The Mets outfielder is now 0 for his last 22, and hitting .116. Over that stretch he has struck out eight times. At home, he’s hitting .089 with four hits and 16 strikeouts. 

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