Call Wacha the “One Hitter Quitter”, “The One Hit Wonder”, or the just use his family name which is classic enough. He has been unfailing like young Dwight Gooden since returning from Memphis. Wacha is so gnarly that he has Shelby Miller hanging out in the pen spitting seeds.
Baseball beware, this man is not a fluke, so his performances are not surprising.
Today Wacha painted a nearly identical box score to his vital late September start versus the Nationals, when he only surrendered one hit as well. While the hit was a shot today in the eighth inning, his performance was nevertheless legendary because it was on the road, in October. Rookies are not supposed to be as cool Wacha is.
Today was the complete opposite of Rick Ankiel in the 2000 playoffs. But it was reminiscent of 2006 when Tony LaRussa had some unseen young arms like Adam Wainwright, whose pitches slaughtered opponents.
What makes today’s Game 4 victory such a feat is that all three of the cannons on the hill today for the Redbirds were freshman. Their average age is 22 and they blew through one of the top offenses in MLB. These guys are making everyone around them step up to be on the same supreme level. It is infectious.
Now the ingredients are chopped up for another NLDS comeback.
The Cards come home after taking the momentum from a tough Pirates team that got flattened a bit today. Wainwright takes the bump Wednesday after looking razor sharp in Game 1, and will be countered by Gerrit Coletrain on four days rest.
The future looks rosie red through my 2011-2012 model shades and I’m thinking, “Weren’t the 2011 Phillies and the 2012 Nats better than this Pirates ball club? Isn’t playing at home in a decisive game much easier than playing in Philly or DC?”
The last two STL NLDS comebacks and the Wildcard game in Atlanta all proved that home field is not always a critical factor. But home cooking can’t hurt at all, especially after the Steelers fans today were noisier than the Penguins fans were yesterday.
Not even Bud Selig knows what the baseball gods have in store for the world on Wednesday. I know that dreams of 2011 NLDS, 2012 NLDS, or 2013 NLDS Game 1 repeats are like yarn for felines. I also know that Busch Stadium will be louder and redder than it was last week.
Fly on Birdinals! Fly on!