Adam Wainwright’s 200th win could make the Cardinals’ season a memorable one

Adam Wainwright's 200th win could make the Cardinals' season a memorable one

This story is excerpted from John Denton’s Cardinals Beat Newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And Participate To get it regularly in your inbox.

In St. Louis, where the Cardinals have won the National League’s 11 World Series titles, the most memorable seasons usually involve the Clydesdale Horses lapping Busch Stadium during the World Series, the emergence of unlikely October heroes and parades streaming down Market Street in the heart of St. Louis . downtown.

However, there are always some exceptions. Nearly 25 years ago, Mark McGwire made fans forget the Cardinals’ 83-79 record with a home run duel for the ages with Sammy Sosa. And just last year, St. Louis was eliminated from the playoffs in two games by the underdog Phillies. But this season will always be remembered for the return of Albert Pujols, and his ability to summon greatness from that relatively young two-tone bat once again and hit his way to 703 home runs.

Their Premier League record streak of 15 consecutive winning seasons ended this year. St. Louis was the favorite to win the NL Central but was the first team to be eliminated from the division race. Also, Monday was day 132 out of a possible 167, as the Cards woke up dead last in their division, needing a strong finish to avoid finishing there for the first time in 33 years.

Can 42-year-old pitcher Adam Wainwright — one of the most accomplished and beloved players in franchise history — ease some of the sting by spinning that famous curveball on Monday enough to pick up the 200th win of his career? Could Wainwright’s historic victory over the rival Brewers at Busch Stadium be a lasting memory from 2023? Those closest to the Cardinals right-hander are certainly excited to see him make history once again.

“I can’t wait,” said manager Oliver Marmol, who admitted he approached the bullpen in Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Phillies with Wainwright’s start Monday in mind, knowing he would likely need as many weapons available as possible to close out the game. the match. Potential 200th win. “Hopefully I can get the lead [for Wainwright] And be able to close it.”

Wainwright, who has declared 2023 to be his final season, set the stage for a potentially historic start Monday by ending an 11-game winless streak in Baltimore last Tuesday. Early in the season, when fans wished him well in his quest for 200 wins, Wainwright would quip and say to himself: “If you only win five games, it’s a lousy season.” I can definitely do better than that,” he recalled recently. As it turned out, many of Wainwright’s struggles this season mirrored those of the Cardinals.

For Wainwright’s teammates, honoring his legacy means everything to them, as NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt candidly admitted.

“Every time he takes the mound, as a teammate, you always want to make sure your game is at the same level,” Goldschmidt said. “It was always like this when he was Yadi [Molina] He was fishing. You don’t want to do anything to let these guys down. I think this mentality speaks to Waino’s competitiveness. Whether he’s struggling or having bad games, he still finds a way to take out another player or make an extra run. Knowing what type of teammate he is, how hard he competes and how he prepares, you always want to make sure your game is at the same level as his.

Goldschmidt added: “There are many ways to lead, but the way he does it may be the most influential.” “Without saying anything, without speaking, he always had a way of uplifting the people around him.”

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