There was a real fear that Adam Wainwright would not get career win number 200 this season, but as usual, the Cardinals legend was resilient and battled his way through his struggles, resulting in that historic 200th win on Monday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.
It was a vintage performance from Wainwright. With all the chips on the line, Waino spun seven scoreless innings, allowing just four hits, two walks, and striking out three batters as he willed the Cardinals to victory in St. Louis. This season has been a massive disappointment overall for the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright, but this historic milestone is something fans will never forget.
While the "wins" as a stat has lost a lot of value over the years, it still holds a ton of weight historically, especially when considering a Hall of Fame candidacy. While it will likely still be difficult for Wainwright to get into the Hall of Fame, this win will really boost his resume.
Based on the direction baseball has been heading in the last decade, we may never see another pitcher reach the 200-win milestone. While Justin Verlander, Zach Grienke, and Max Scherzer have already reached that milestone, the next closest active player is Johnny Cueto with 144 and Gerrit Cole with 143. Starters just don't go deep enough into games or stay healthy enough to reach those milestones anymore.
Wainwright had battled massive injuries during his career, including both Tommy John surgery and an Achilles injury in his prime. He also finished 2nd in Cy Young voting twice and 3rd twice as well, running into historic seasons from other starters that robbed him from ever winning the award. Those around the game of baseball know how much Wainwright has meant to this game, so I hope he's rewarded with a trip to Cooperstown down the road.
I can't thank Adam Wainwright enough for the impact he made on my Cardinals' fandom growing up. He's the last of the guard from my childhood, and will always be my "Cardinals' ace". Even more importantly, he's a greater man, and deserving of all of the praise he's receiving.
Thank you, Waino, for everything. Cardinal Nation will never see another like you.