JUPITER, FL. (KMOV.com) -- Adam Wainwright returned to the mound for his third start of spring, looking to continue his march toward regular season form.
The Cardinal ace drew the Detroit Tigers Friday, and threw 70 pitches over 4.2 innings. He surrendered six hits and two runs, but was focused mainly on testing his pitch execution.
“That’s a pretty good hitting team over there. I’m glad they brought their big dogs, too. Those guys will tell you exactly where your stuff is,” Wainwright said. “I love seeing hitters reactions.”
Wainwright was happy overall with what he saw, especially in his matchups with Miguel Cabrera. The 6’7 righthander loves to be tested, and views the Detroit slugger as one of the best benchmarks of whether his pitches are where they need to be.
“He’s so fun to face. I mean, if he’s not the best, he’s right there. I think he’s certainly one of the best right handed hitters of our generation. I think he and Albert have got to be top two in our generation,” Wainwright said. “Today I’m thinking, ‘how much do I show him?’ I wanted to show him everything. His first at bat I threw him all of my pitches because I wanted to see reactions to each one. There’s no better hitter to tell you exactly where you’re at on your stuff than him.”
The first contest ended in a walk to Cabrera, and the second was a matchup between the pitcher’s control and the slugger’s strength.
With two out, Wainwright threw a sinking fastball that was coming back to the outside corner of the plate. Right is it clipped the strike zone, Cabrera reached out and lined it to right field.
“He just so fluid, so easily, stroked it over there,” Wainwright said. “His power is uncanny.”
The ball was caught by Brandon Moss, and told Wainwright what he needed to know. He finished his work encouraged with his execution, and eager to build on his outing.
“Last time out I felt a lot better with my command and my tempo, the path my body was taking. This time I expanded on that a little bit and I’m going to throw it into the next game,” he said.
If that wasn’t enough for a positive takeaway, his last matchup with Cabrera certainly was. In his final act on the mound, before he was subbed out for Tyler Lyons, Wainwright struck out the Detroit power hitter on three pitches.