MIAMI — It’s a perplexing, vexing question the Cardinals hoped they would never encounter, much less one they’d have to answer mid-season. But now that they’ve suffered another one-sided defeat, they can’t avoid their most notable personnel question. Will franchise icon Adam Wainwright wear the familiar No. 50 Card jersey and tiptoe the rubber again to flick a curve ball in the air?
Questions are already swirling over whether Wainwright, 41, can live as a starting pitcher for the Cardinals in desperation mode, but the veteran pitcher delivered another blow in Tuesday afternoon’s 15-2 loss to the Marlins. received. And he’s expected to be on the disabled list, hoping to get some relief from his sore right shoulder and onslaught of hits and runs in his last three starts.
When, and more importantly, if Wainwright will return to the mound with a bird on his chest bat, has been questioned more than at any point in the last 18 seasons. Still rebellious, Wainwright vowed to return this season before retiring from his favorite curveball and waiting for a permanent spot in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
“No, that’s not the end,” said Wainwright, with a keen eye and more certainty.
Right after the Cubs (7 runs on 11 hits and 1 walk in 3+ innings), the Astros (6 hits in 1 2/3 innings, 6 runs on 3 walks) and the Marlins (7 runs). [four earned] (He had seven hits and two walks in 3 1/3 innings.) Wainwright admitted he’s been plagued with discomfort and frustration with his pitching shoulder in recent weeks. He said pain is the driving force behind the late waning of rolling curveballs and the recently repeatedly squeezed mid-’80s fastballs.
Wainwright said he was confident to play again. Part of the reason is that he’s had worse experiences — say, at the 2018 Day Game in San Diego, where he felt a searing pain in his knee that made him unsure if he would pitch again. when it wasn’t there. right elbow.
“I came back from a lot worse. I broke my arm in ’18, but I came back and pitched for nearly five more years,” said Wainwright, whose season ERA ballooned to 7.66 after Tuesday’s loss. Told. “So it’s nothing like that, but it’s affecting mine. That’s what the scoreboard says, you can’t deny it, you can’t hide it. I tell myself anything.” I’ve done it many times and made a career out of it, but at this point it’s unfair to me to put the team in that position and I need to improve. there is.”
Marlins manager Skip Shoemaker called Wainwright “the most influential person I’ve ever met in my life” as a teammate in St. Louis, but when Wainwright came off the mound in 2018 in agony, I almost cried in San Diego. On Tuesday, he was sickened to see one of his closest friends struggle again.
“I hate it,” admitted Shoemaker. “I didn’t hate today just because you were a competitor, but I hate it.” [Wainwright].
“I feel like he’s getting back on his feet thanks to his performance in the game, but this isn’t what his final year should be,” added Shoemaker. “I know what kind of competitor he is, but I miss him more than anyone because he is a winner and a champion. is not qualified to make such an outing.”
This recent start did little for Wainwright, who allowed five hits in his first six games against the Marlins, including a three-run homer by Jesús Sanchez. Wainwright had a seven-batting streak at one point before disaster struck again. Garrett Cooper hit a solo home run in the third inning, and Wainwright loaded the bases with a hit and two walks in the fourth to withdraw from the game.
Shortstop Paul DeJong, who has been Wainwright’s teammate since 2017, said, “We’re still pulling and supporting him, and we want to do our best while he’s pitching.” . We give him the best we can. Because he is so important to everyone here, [made] It gave each one of our careers a very personal touch. We think he’s a legend and deserves a chance to come back. ”
Wainwright, who entered the season with 195 wins, thought he would have no problem becoming the third pitcher in franchise history to reach 200 wins. Wainwright, stuck at 198 wins in three starts, just hopes he’ll be there in time to pick up two more.
“Either you come back and throw a great pitch or you’re a great cheerleader,” he said. “The plan is that I haven’t given up, and I still want to get out there and be great.”
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