7 pleasant surprises for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021

Miranda Remaklus
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 12: Members of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 at Busch Stadium on September 12, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 12: Members of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 at Busch Stadium on September 12, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 13: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 13, 2021 in New York City. St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Mets 7-0. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 13: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals in action against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 13, 2021 in New York City. St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Mets 7-0. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Adam Wainwright

Turning 40 never looked so good on someone as it does for Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright seems to have tapped into the fountain of youth and in a season where the Cardinals pitching staff has struggled mightily. He has stepped up and been the ace the team desperately needed. He and Yadier Molina now have over 300 starts together. That’s just unbelievable. But, as a Cardinal fan, you absolutely love to see it.

After Wainwright’s start against the Padres Saturday, he has pitched in 30 games with a 16-7 record. He has an ERA of 2.89 and 169 strikeouts on the season, one short of 2,000 for his career.

Wainwright’s curveball has a 97% active spin this season, at an average of 73.5 mph with 25.4 inches of total movement. In other words, that pitch is filthy. He has a called + swinging strike percentage of 30. This matches the percentage we saw from him in 2006 when he was a reliever. He was a pretty effective closer that season too.

As Cardinals Hall of Famer Chris Carpenter told Jim Hayes during an interview Saturday, Wainwright just makes his pitches. Waino is as confident as we have ever seen him, still strutting off the mound after striking an opponent out. The Cardinals will need that effectiveness the rest of this season and as far into October as we can make it.

Here’s hoping Waino continues this amazing, improbable ride. We are here for it!

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