(BaseballStL) -- This is certainly not the Adam Wainwright we saw in the regular season, who won 20 games and had an ERA of 2.38, which was third best in the National League. Wainwright has not been sharp in his two postseason outings, and was tagged with the loss in game one of the NLCS against San Francisco.
In his two October starts, Wainwright has given up eight earned runs in nine innings. He admits his elbow discomfort is a concern, but says he’s still got to be better than he was on Saturday night.
“I know I can be much better than this,” said Wainwright. “My arm doesn’t feel great, but it should still be better results-wise. I should be able to repeat my deliver and pitches a lot better than I am.”
Wainwright has had discomfort in the back of his elbow since the first inning of the NLDS against the Dodgers. It’s not a ligament problem, but muscle soreness that he’s had before, and it bothered him again during game one against the Giants.
“It’s not 100 percent. It’s 100 percent better than it was the last time I pitched, so the next time I pitch I expect it to be better.”
With better defense behind him, Wainwright’s fate might have been different in game one. In the second inning Randal Grichuk almost made a nice catch in rightfield, but couldn’t hang onto the ball and that runner eventually scored. The Giants also scored on a two-out error by Matt Carpenter, and later after Kolten Wong failed to complete what would have been an inning ending double play.
“We’re out there trying to make plays,” said Carpenter. “There were some things that didn’t go our way that prolonged some innings, especially when he was trying to grind out there. Could have definitely helped him out.”
“Pitchers need help at times,” said Mike Matheny. “He did a good job of fighting without his best stuff again. That’s very consistent with what we’ve seen from him for many years now.”
The Cardinals will be counting on Wainwright to get it done later in the series, probably game five in San Francisco. Waino says he’s confident he’ll be much better in that one.
“Next time I go out there I’ll have full confidence,” said Wainwright. “The goal is to pitch nine. I’m not trying to get through five, I want to pitch nine innings. I know I have the ability to do that.”