ST. LOUIS – It seemed like a sure thing at the beginning of the year that Adam Wainwright could reach 200 wins. Entering his final season with 195 victories, he even joked about it May, “If I end the season with [just] five wins, are you going to be happy about that?”
Things haven’t quite gone as according to planned. The 42-year-old has been stuck at 198 wins since mid-June. He’s winless in his last 11 outings, the St. Louis Cardinals have only won one of those, and he only has two quality starts in that stretch.
The road doesn’t get much easier from here. His next start is set for Wednesday against the American League-leading Baltimore Orioles (91-52), also among the top teams in runs scored this season.
Including Tuesday, Wainwright would be on pace for around four more starts on his regular rotation. That would include the following:
- Tuesday, Sept. 12 against the Baltimore Orioles
- Monday, Sept. 18 against the Milwaukee Brewers
- Saturday/Sunday, Sept. 23/24 against the San Diego Padres
- Final home series against the Cincinnati Reds
All four opponents could be pretty daunting. The Orioles, Brewers and Reds will face Wainwright while likely still fighting to secure a playoff spot. The Padres, though out of the playoff picture and a disappointment by most standards this year, have a star-loaded lineup that can chase pitchers out of games early.
Manager Oli Marmol hasn’t yet disclosed if the Cardinals plan to deviate from Wainwright’s normal rotation or perhaps try to use him in strategized relief outings down the stretch in hopes to get him wins. If Wainwright keeps starting, he needs to pitch at least five innings to qualify for a win with the Cardinals leading before the next pitcher takes the mound, and ultimately, the Cardinals need to hold onto that lead and come out on top.
He’s going to need some help from the offense too. In more than half of his 19 starts this season, Wainwright has received one or zero runs of support from his offense while on the mound. It adds to quite a few missed opportunities over the years
Wainwright’s 198 wins are currently third-most in Cardinals franchise history. If he can crack the milestone before Oct. 1, he would become just one of six active pitchers with at least 200 victories.
NOTE: The video attached at the top of the story is a separate feature from FOX 2’s Jordan Williams from July analyzing Wainwright’s push for 200 wins.