St. Louis Cardinals: The return of Adam Wainwright

Coming into the 2019 season, Adam Wainwright was a big question mark in the St. Louis Cardinals rotation. Sunday’s start was a big step in expelling those doubts.

Adam Wainwright’s first start was not ideal. He was more or less shelled by Pittsburgh to the tune of 4 runs over 4 innings and only 3 Ks. He rebounded fantastically though on Sunday by dominating a fairly good Padres lineup in a St. Louis Cardinals win. 6 innings, 5 hits, no walks, 1 run, and 9 strikeouts. He was vintage Waino, with his velocity higher than we’ve seen it in a while.

Wainwright was averaging low 90s with his fastball, which represented a marked improvement over his first start wherein he barely reached 90. This start shows that the 37-year-old still has plenty of life in his arm despite what some of us at Redbird Rants think. He still has a chance to be a large contributor to this year’s St. Louis Cardinals rotation.

While any reaction after just two starts is likely too soon, lot’s of people were very discouraged after his first outing. This doesn’t prove he’s going to continue going forward but proves that deep down he still has his former self somewhere.

This type of resurgence is very special to me. I grew up at Cardinals games with tickets through a parent’s workplace. We sat in Section 150, row 14, seat 3-6. You could see the break on every pitch thrown and Waino was especially fun to watch. His curveball broke like no other. He quickly became the pitcher I attempted to emulate in my own “career.”

Obviously, I wasn’t particularly successful in my efforts. But watching Wainwright go about his business taught me more than just pitching. I also always admired the way he treated other people along with how helpful he is to the community. He is truly an amazing person through and through.

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Adam Wainwright holds a special place in my (and Cardinal Nations’) heart. That makes his potential comeback season all that more wonderful. He is one of the three remaining players who shared a Cardinals team with Albert Pujols, and for good reason. He is the physical embodiment of the Cardinal Way. Here’s hoping he has a wonderful bookend to his career.