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Something Special

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 8:39 AM
Filed Under: Heroes and Goats | Houston Astros | St. Louis Cardinals
While Adam Wainwright may not get his own MLB "Beyond" commercial like his first baseman did, but the Cardinal right-hander is producing some living history of his own.

Wainwright stretched his streak of going at least six innings (which is serious stuff, of course) to 25 straight games while running another streak, of giving up two runs or less, out to 12.  The note from the game story really puts in into perspective:

During his mind-bending season of 1968, Bob Gibson had a run of 11 such starts. Since 1954, only John Tudor's streak of 15 in 1987-88 is longer.
You pass Bob Gibson on a list like this, especially something he did in '68? You've done something remarkable.

Being able to see Wainwright and Chris Carpenter continue to go out there and put up zeros is incredible, something that we'll be talking about for years to come, I expect.  When was the last time there were two serious contenders for the Cy Young going on the Redbird staff?  There are years where the season Joel Pineiro is having would be leaps and bounds the highlight of the pitching staff.  Now, it's an afterthought.

I'm sure the advanced metrics still go toward Tim Lincecum and I'm not like Al, who said on the broadcast last night that he'd go with Wainwright "because he has 15 wins" and indicated he'd change his mind if Carpenter had more wins.  That said, there has to be at least an argument to give the award to one of these guys, doesn't there?

I never have figured out a way to do a table on this blog, so bear with me as I put out some numbers and look at Tim Lincecum as he stacks up to our two guys.

Wins: TL 12, CC 14, AW 15*
IP: TL 185.1, CC 145.2, AW 187.0*
ERA: TL 2.43, CC 2.16*, AW 2.50
K: TL 214*, CC 111, AW 157
WHIP: TL 1.041, CC 0.961, AW 1.209
BAA: TL .210, CC .223, AW
K/BB: TL 4.20, CC 4.83, AW 2.91
HR: TL 8, CC 7, AW 15
(*--league leader)

Looking at those numbers, it looks like Wainwright lags behind the other two in most categories, meaning the race would be between Lincecum and Carpenter.  Which is probably what it is going to come down to.  But let's factor out the early season glitches of Wainwright and see what the lines look like since June 1.

Wainwright: 10-4, 115 IP, 106 H, 8 HR, 1.96 ERA, .241 BAA, WHIP 1.15, WPA 3.14
Carpenter: 11-3, 116.2 IP, 101 H, 7 HR, 2.55 ERA, .239 BAA, WHIP 1.02, WPA 3.17
Lincecum: 8-3, 120 IP, 83 H, 7 HR, 2.10 ERA, .193 BAA, WHIP 0.96, WPA 2.64

Even factoring that in, Lincecum is the leader for the award.  However, the margin is fairly slim, and he's been a little more human in August, so if he slips much further, a continued press by either of the Cardinal hurlers might sneak them in there.  If the Giants miss the playoffs, that might skew some voters to the Redbirds as well.

Nice to see Albert Pujols at least partially solve one of his long-time tormentors.  He may have had only one hit, but when it's a game like last night, you take what you can get, plus one run may make the difference.  We'll see if he can bring a little more thunder in the next couple of games.

Tough to really name a Goat last night, because you have to give so much credit to the way Wandy Rodriguez was pitching.  I guess we'll give it to Mark DeRosa, because while he wasn't the only person to go hitless, he was the only one to strike out twice.

Lot of hoopla before the game as Shelby Miller got his formal introduction to the life of a Cardinal.  Now he moves from the realm of this blog and those like it to more of a regular Future Redbirds content provider as he heads down to Quad Cities to get started.  It'll be interesting to see how his couple of appearances in the next week or so pan out. I hope that he'll be all they expect him to be, because having a dominant pitching prospect to keep an eye on is something that's been lacking in the past few years.

It's another fun pitching matchup tonight as Pineiro takes on Roy Oswalt.  Oswalt's numbers against the Cardinals this year are skewed by the Easter weekend beatdown he took, giving up six runs in six innings.  His last time was much closer to the Oswalt we've come to expect, though St. Louis still hung three on him in seven innings.

In his career, he's done OK, though those batting averages on the whole are higher than I would have expected.  Pujols has done pretty well against him, smoking five homers, and newcomers DeRosa and Matt Holliday aren't that mystified by him either.  It might be that the offense could get a bit more on track tonight after all.

Pineiro has only faced the Astros once in 2009, way back in his first start of the year.  He allowed two runs in just under seven innings to sent the tone for what has been an amazing season for him.  The Astros have good career numbers against him, but we've seen time and time again this year that the past seems to have no impact on the present Joel Pineiro.

Remember tonight that dangerously dynamic duo from Pitchers Hit Eighth host the UCB Radio Hour.  9:30 Central time and they will have as a guest the writer covering the Springfield Cards.  You can find an interview with her here.  Come and join us!

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2 Comments | Leave a comment

I'm fearful that they (AW and CC) will steal votes from each other.

It's a possibility, to be sure. Though Matt Cain might make a bit of a dent in Lincecum's vote total as well, it probably won't be to the extent of AW/CC.

And thanks, that's the first comment I've had on the blog in 2 1/2 weeks! :)

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