Wainwright’s stats entering Thursday’s game against the Boston Red Sox:
Season: 13-6, 2.26 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 7.4 K/9, 3.43 K/BB, 7.0 IP/GS 3 CG, 2 SHO, 161 ERA+
The Past Three Weeks: 1-2, 5.82 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, 6.4 K/9, 1.20 K/BB, 5.7 IP/GS
Yes, Wainwright has struggled in his past few starts but I expect he will very much be a contender for the award at the end of the season. However, I cannot stress lightly just how serious the competition is with Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto.
Entering his 23rd start on Wednesday, the Cardinals pitcher has gone seven innings or more in 16 starts this season, allowing two runs or less in those games. There have been four other starts, however, in which the ace has not thrown the stellar game that we all expect from him.
The worst starts of late came against the Tampa Bay Rays (4.2 IP, 4 R) and the Milwaukee Brewers (5.1 IP, 7 R). In between those two outings, Wainwright pitched a 7-inning gem against the Cubs.
Wainwright needs to go on a run of scoreless innings pitched to get his earned run average under two runs.