In another fantastic start, Adam Wainwright continued to prove how good he has been for the St. Louis Cardinals. Although Monday night was not his best performance, Wainwright went seven solid innings, giving up only three runs while striking out five.
With the 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals, the Cardinals dropped their magic number to four. With both of their divisional rivals the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates holding pace with wins of their own, Wainwright’s start was essential in order for the Cardinals to keep their two game lead in the NL Central Division.
Wainwright’s contribution is nothing new to the Cardinals as he improved to 18-9 on the season with Monday’s win. With his 2013 ERA now at 3.01, Wainwright has been the starting rotation leader all year in St. Louis. On the pitching end of the ball, he is the clear reason the Cardinals hold a two game lead over their dangerous and pressuring divisional foes. In the only division in MLB with more than one team with 90+ wins – all three teams have at least 90 – Wainwright has been the anchor for St. Louis.
With 11 of his 33 starts boasting at least seven innings pitched and one earned run or less allowed, Wainwright’s dominant pitching will be an absolute necessity for the Cardinals to continue with a deep postseason run. Wainwright will almost undoubtedly get the call to open the playoffs and, if the Cardinals make it to a seven-game series, he will no doubt be called upon for multiple appearances. Look for Wainwright to continue to carry St. Louis as they head to the NLDS.