There is no way that the St Louis Cardinals would be where they are today — 21-14, best record in the National League and 8-2 in their last 10 games — without Adam Wainwright.
Throughout his career, Wainwright has been Mr. Reliable in St. Louis. He has won 168 games in 16 seasons. He has a career 3.40 ERA. He has long been an ace and even in a season in which he was signed to a one-year deal, hearing doubts about how effective he can be in his age-39 season, he has paired with Jack Flaherty as the two aces of the Cardinals’ rotation.
Wainwright, 39, once again delivered an absolute gem against the Colorado Rockies, allowing no runs while pitching into the ninth inning. It marks the second time in his last three starts that he accomplished that feat, a sign that he can remain a highly effective starter even as he approaches 40, with catcher Yadier Molina saying, “What’s wrong with 40?”
“The superlatives are rightly well-documented,” Mike Shildt said, via Katie Woo of The Athletic. “He’s a marvel, in a sense. You’re talking about an elite competitive spirit, the heart of a lion. This is a guy that has taken care of himself for years. You don’t get to this point in your career without doing all the right things leading up to that.”
Wainwright’s curveball remains one of the most devastating pitches in baseball. It’s what kept him in the game even after nearly being out of a job in 2018 and ultimately what has driven his success this season. For a Cardinals team that needed someone to step up, it was once again Wainwright, who has made a habit of doing just that throughout his time in St. Louis.
And as the games get bigger and the stakes are higher, the Cardinals can expect Wainwright to continue to be the man who leads their rotation. It’s who he is. It’s what he does.