9th-inning Rally Foils Wainwright’s Last Stand

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 Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Sunday night, Oct. 6. In spite of a brilliant performance that belied his 38 years, Adam Wainwright didn’t get a win in a game very likely to be his last start in St. Louis without an improbable Cardinals’ comeback in games 4 and 5.  The Braves put up 3 in the 9th off Carlos Martinez to tarnish a gem Wainwright had been pitching, and claim a 3–1 win.  

  All the talk on recent Cardinals’ broadcasts has been that this would be Adam Wainwright’s final season. The Nationals’ Fernando Rodney is the oldest pitcher on any of the playoff teams, at age 42.  At 38, and as a starting pitcher, Wainwright’s arm has more miles on it than that of Rodney who has been a reliever throughout his career. Wainwright has led his league in wins twice, in 2009 and 2013, and on 3 occasions has been named an All-Star.  Most amazingly of all in this day of transient players, he’s played his entire major league career for the Cardinals.  The Cardinals showed loyalty to him in 2011 when he needed Tommy John Surgery in spring training.  That would be the year the Cardinals won their second World Series since Wainwright joined them, and the team sent their sidelined starter a World Series ring.  The Cardinals also stuck by Wainwright in 2015 when he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon.  Miraculously, he made a recovery in 5 months though his doctors said he wouldn’t be fit to play for up to a year. At age 34, he made a recovery a lot of younger athletes can’t make no matter how long they try.   

  For the first 7 innings of today’s game, it seemed Wainwright had turned back the clock, not giving up a run, scattering  4 hits and 2 walks.  As good as he was, the Braves’ Mike Soroka went 7 innings allowing just a run on 2 hits.  With his team ahead 1-0 in the       top of the 8th and Braves on every base, Wainwright left the field to a thunderous ovation from the fans he had shown his loyalty. His replacement, Andrew Miller didn’t let any of Wainwright’s runs scored, but this time that wasn’t quite good enough.  Martinez, who gave up 3 runs in the 9th in game 1 got 2/3 of the way through the 9th before the roof fell in.  The Braves’ Dansby Swanson tied the game with a ringing double, and Adam Duvall singled home the two runs that meant the difference in this game. The Braves have their chance to wrap things up in tomorrow’s second game, after the Yankees and Twins get it on in Minnesota.          

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