5 best St. Louis Cardinals starting pitchers since 1967
2. Adam Wainwright
Ironically, Adam Wainwright most memorable career moments probably came during his rookie season in 2006. In Game 7 of the NLCS, he made his curveball famous by freezing Carlos Beltran of the Houston Astros at the plate to get the final out. Then, in Game 5 of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers, his slider to Brandon Inge gave the Cardinals their first World Series title in 24 years.
Wainwright may be the best pitcher to never have won a Cy Young Award, but he came close on least four occasions. In 2009 and 2014, he finished third in voting. In 2010 and 2013, he finished second.
Uncle Charlie, as he is know by most Cardinal fans, has led the National League in victories twice (2009, 2013), innings pitched twice (2009, 20013), games started twice (2009, 2013), complete games three times (2013, 2020, 2021), shutouts twice (2013, 2014), and batters faced twice (2009,2013). Additionally, he has two Gold Glove Awards, a Silver Slugger Award, and made three All Star appearances.
The Brunswick, Georgia native has pitched for over 200 innings six times in his career, The latest being in 2021, when at age-39, he threw for 206 innings. He has also won 20 games twice in his career, and 19 games twice.
It’s hard to measure the impact Adam Wainwright has had on the Cardinals during his 16 years. It’s more than his career stats of 184 wins, or his 3.35 ERA, or his .637 winning percentage, or even his 119 ERA +. No, it also includes his clubhouse leadership and the fact he represents the best of Cardinals baseball.