Adam Wainwright will throw a third simulated game Monday in Pittsburgh when the St. Louis Cardinals begin their final road trip of the season.
Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak told Fox Sports Midwest of that decision before the Cardinals faced Milwaukee in their home finale Sunday.
Wainwright, recovering from a torn left Achilles’ tendon, still has not been cleared to pitch in a game by the Cardinals’ medical staff, something that seemed to be forthcoming late last week.
“Originally, it was sounding like that,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Now it’s kind of changed, so I don’t know exactly when it’s going to happen.”
Matheny didn’t explain what’s changed.
“We don’t have everybody on the medical staff accessible 24-7,” Matheny said. “We can’t just beckon somebody and they change their life plans. Some of them aren’t on call, so we have to adjust. We have a lot of people, but there’s certain eyes we want to get on it. Some of them are accessible, some aren’t.”
Wainwwright has felt fine after each of his previous two simulated games.
“We’ll see. We’ll see how he looks,” Matheny said. “That’s kind of the next step in this progression. Hopefully, that can work out.”
Sizzling at home
The Cardinals finished 55-26 at home, tops in the major leagues. The Cardinals’ best season at home was in 1942, when they were 60-17. They were 58-21 in 1943.
“It seems like there was a period where we were just as good on the road, too,” Matheny said. “We’ve played pretty consistent baseball. (But) we love playing here. I don’t know of any team that can say, ‘Hey, I hate playing at home.’ It doesn’t normally work that way.
“This is just a great atmosphere, especially how it’s kind of played out towards the end here. It’s been a packed house, lots of life. I run into people all the time who have just bought in to the daily excitement of this team and this season. When you have that, that vibe in this stadium makes it a great place to play.”
Matheny said the regular season has gone rapidly.
“It doesn’t seem right. It’s gone by quick, but we’re ready to put a good finish to it,” he said.
Third baseman Matt Carpenter was back in the lineup and batted first Sunday, despite exiting after five innings Saturday with a tight hip. Carpenter hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh and was followed by a home run by Stephen Piscotty, but Milwaukee scored seven in the ninth to earn an 8-4 victory.
“There’s always concern,” Matheny said of Carpenter’s ailment Saturday. “He showed up and tested out great. We’ll continue to watch him, but he was ready to go today and the medical team was fine (with it).”
Matheny said there are several members of the team who lobby for playing time even after being scuffed up in some fashion.
“The front row of that class is pretty full,” Matheny said. “There’s quite a few guys that take that same approach. They’re always trying to figure out a way to be in there, and that’s what we want. We want them anxious to figure out a way to help us out, especially right now. This is what they work so hard for.”
Pitching in Pittsburgh
Lance Lynn, Michael Wacha and Tyler Lyons will pitch in Pittsburgh, which trailed the Cardinals by three games entering Sunday.
Lyons will pitch for Carlos Martinez, who is out for the year with a strained shoulder suffered Friday against Milwaukee.
The Pirates have pasted Lynn this season. Lynn is 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh, allowing 19 hits and 13 earned run in 11 2/3 innings. Lynn was unable to survive the first inning in a 10-5 loss Aug. 13 at Busch Stadium.
Wacha is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in three starts against Pittsburgh. Wacha, however, is 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his last four starts, failing on three occasions to last six innings.
Pittsburgh will pitch J.A. Happ, Charlie Morton and Gerrit Cole.
At the gate
The Cardinals enjoyed their 37th sellout of the season Sunday, as 45,021 watched the game.
St. Louis drew 3.520,889 to Busch Stadium, an average of 43,468. The overall attendance was the fourth-highest in franchise history, behind 2007 (3,552,180), 2014 (3,540,948) and 2005 (3,538,948).