Rants Daily: Wainwright dazzles in Cardinals’ win over Marlins

christophercarelli
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It may be time for St. Louis Cardinals fans to start feeling confident in addition to excited about Adam Wainwright‘s return. There was obvious excitement when he was recuperating over the offseason and we got word that he was ahead of schedule. There was optimism that he could be on the mound for the beginning of Spring Training in an effort to be 100% by the regular season. Now, after three starts we can start feeling confident that he is going to put together a season fans have come to expect from Wainwright.

The Cardinals received a four-inning, 54-pitch beauty from Wainwright. In the end it took a three-run rally for the win over the visiting Miami Marlins. But, the win for the Cardinals came after Wainwright left the mound yesterday. He has now pitched 9 innings and allowed 2 hits. We can’t be over confident because he’ll surely allow a run and maybe even have a clunker before spring is over. But, each time out he looks better. He feels better. He is regaining his confidence (if it was ever lost he would never let on). One would think after a full year away from the game there would be some apprehension. It is apparent now that Wainwright is ready to go and could start a regular season game his next time out if needed.

Wainwright allowed an unearned run after Daniel Descalso threw one away in the third inning. Other than that, there were a couple walks and a hit. He struck out one. From MLB.com reporter David Villavicencio:

"“I was real pleased with today,” Wainwright said. “By far the most comfortable I felt on the mound. I made a bunch of good pitches. I’ve just got to hone it in a little bit, because I made a lot of quality pitches, down in the zone and just off the corner.”"

On the offensive side, the Redbirds continue to be supported by Matt Holliday and David Freese. Holliday drove in the first Cardinals’ run with a double in the third, driving in Descalso and tying the score at 1. With the Cardinals down 2-1 headed into the bottom of the eighth inning, Freese stepped up with two men on and blasted his third home run of the spring making it 4-2 Cards. Victor Marte pitched a scoreless ninth for the save. The Cardinals also received scoreless efforts from Eduardo Sanchez and J.C. Romero. Marc Rzepczynski threw two innings allowing a run on a hit and a walk.

CRAIG FEELING GOOD

Allen Craig will likely start the season on the disabled list. While this is upsetting to him, he understands that there is no reason to rush through the last stages of his rehab. For now, he is content to be making progress and steadily working into baseball shape. According to Villavicencio, Craig is able to do just about everything in the field, but is still working toward strengthening his legs for running and hitting. Craig will be an important piece to the Cardinals roster, especially if Skip Schumaker‘s right oblique injury takes a long time to heal.

CARPENTER THROWS BP SESSION

Chris Carpenter threw a batting practice session yesterday and came out of it fine. According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Rick Hummel, Carpenter threw about 20 pitches to Craig and two other players. Craig said Carpenter was throwing hard. Carpenter stated he felt good about getting the work in, but that his location was off. It is possible, barring any setbacks that Carpenter could be on the mound for a game at the end of the first week of regular season games.

TODAY’S GAME

Today, the Cardinals travel to Lake Buena Vista. Fla. to meet the Atlanta Braves. The Redbirds send Lance Lynn to the mound for his second start of the spring. Lynn threw three innings last time out and would hope to get in 50-60 pitches today.

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