ST. LOUIS – Welcome to the 200-win club, Adam Wainwright! In one of the last scheduled starts of his decorated MLB career, Wainwright reaches a long-awaited milestone.
Wainwright and the Cardinals defeated the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers 1-0 for Waino’s 200th career win. Wainwright allowed four hits and struck out three in seven innings.
With the victory, Wainwright becomes just the third pitcher in history to win at least 200 games with the St. Louis Cardinals and just the sixth active hurler to reach 200 victories.
After 18 MLB seasons and two decades in the Cardinals organization, Wainwright will retire at the end of the 2023 campaign. He entered his sendoff season with 195 wins, so naturally, needing only five over a full season didn’t seem like too tall of a task.
Fortunes changed quickly, and Wainwright bent but didn’t break in pursuit of 200.
Wainwright suffered a major setback just before Opening Day, landing on the injured list with a groin strain that emerged during a World Baseball Classic workout. He returned in early May, and won three games rather quickly through mid-June, even without his best results.
Then came a brutal stretch. Wainwright went winless in 11 starts that stretched almost three months. He only had two quality starts during that stretch, got chased quickly out of many outings and ended up on the injured list around the All-Star break with shoulder discomfort.
Wainwright reclaimed a rotation spot shortly before the Cardinals moved starters Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty at the trade deadline, two moves that signaled St. Louis would likely not compete for the postseason this year, but also represented one last chance to give Wainwright an extended look in the rotation.
Just six days ago in Baltimore, Wainwright cooled off the AL-leading Orioles over five innings to earn win No. 199. It set the stage for up to three more chances at 200 victories on regular rest. He got it in his second-to-last home series.
Uncle Charlie is no stranger to milestones like this either. Just last year, Wainwright and his longtime catcher, Yadier Molina, teamed up to break the MLB battery record. They worked together for a combined 328 starts, more than any other pitcher-catcher combo in MLB history before Molina’s retirement last year.
As he prepares for retirement, Wainwright now has 200 wins, three All-Star nods, two Gold Glove awards, four Top 3 Cy Young Award finishes, and a World Series championship under his belt.
Like this year, his career hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Wainwright missed the entire 2011 season (which led to the Cardinals’ last World Series title) due to Tommy John surgery and most of the 2015 season due to a torn Achilles.
He’s remained optimistic through it all, known not only for setting the bar high in Cardinals history but also for building strong connections with fans and teammates, in addition to his charity work through Big League Impact.
The Cardinals plan to celebrate Adam Wainwright’s career in the final weekend of the 2023 regular season with three days worth of celebrations and activities, including a postgame concert on Sept. 30 and a pregame ceremony on Oct. 1.