The problems continued to mount Saturday for Adam Wainwright.
Wainwright (0-2) allowed seven runs, all earned, on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 9-8 loss to Cincinnati at Busch Stadium. His ERA soared from 6.55 to 8.27.
Once again, location was the issue. After three sterling innings that included a six-pitch first, Wainwright was hit hard in the fourth, fifth and sixth before being relieved by Seth Maness.
I don’t care about all those Twitter people out there who are calling for my retirement. I don’t know how many times I have to tell people to relax. (But) when you pitch a few games like this, you don’t really deserve to be able to tell people to relax.
Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright
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“There’s not a whole lot of good things I can say about it, is there? I was given another big lead and I blew it again,” said a dejected Wainwright, whose teammates gave him a 4-0 advantage in the second, thanks in large part to Stephen Piscotty’s three-run homer.
“The only way I can look at it in a positive light is the first three or four innings, I was pretty crisp,” Wainwright said. “I need to draw off that. About the fifth, I started falling into some old habits again. Three or four good innings today, hopefully, leads to six or seven, maybe eight, next time. We’ll see where that goes from there.”
Wainwright walked one and struck out two in a 74-pitch outing. Five of the 10 hits he surrendered were loud doubles. All of the doubles came in the fourth, fifth and sixth.
“It was just one of those days,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose team fell to 6-5. “(Wainwright) is not as fine-tuned as he wants to be. Those times happen to everybody.
“That’s not the first time he’s not been exactly where he wants to be. He (usually) finds ways to keep us in the game. We’re in the game. But it’s just not what he wants to see. He’s a perfectionist and he demands a lot of himself. He’ll get it right, but right now, he’s frustrated because he expects a lot out of himself.”
Cincinnati finished with nine doubles to match a franchise record. It equaled a Busch Stadium III record; the Cardinals had nine doubles against the Chicago Cubs on July 21, 2012.
Surrendering the lead
In his previous start Sunday in Atlanta, Wainwright had a 4-1 lead over the Braves, but he allowed three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth as the Cardinals fell behind 5-4 in a game they evenutally won 12-7.
Wainwright said his pitches, other than his signature curveball, aren’t consistently moving.
“The other ones are kind of rolling in there. There’s too much side to side,” Wainwright said. “My cutter’s doing the same thing. It’s too loopy; it’s too big. My fastball found the middle of the plate a lot in those last couple of innings.
“You throw the ball down the middle of the plate, these big-league hitters are going to punish you. I’ve made more mistakes these first three games than I have in entire seasons, I feel like.”
Wainwright said there’s nothing for him to do but keep pushing forward and looking for solutions to his problems. He vowed to resolve his difficulties.
“The only way I’m not going to come out of this is if I get down on myself and start pouting around about it,” Wainwright said. “I will come out of this.”
What I will and can say is I will come out of this. I will be a very, very good pitcher. I’m just not there right now. ... I’m trusting all of (my pitches). They’re just not doing what they’re supposed to do and what they will do and what they’re going to do.
And to the folks on Twitter: No, he’s not planning a retirement party.
“I don’t care about all those Twitter people out there who are calling for my retirement,” Wainwright said. “I don’t know how many times I have to tell people to relax. (But) when you pitch a few games like this, you don’t really deserve to be able to tell people to relax.
“What I will and can say is I will come out of this. I will be a very, very good pitcher. I’m just not there right now. ... I’m trusting all of (my pitches). They’re just not doing what they’re supposed to do and what they will do and what they’re going to do.”
Wainwright’s next start will be Friday at Petco Park in San Diego, a pitcher’s paradise. Until then, Wainwright will try to iron out the kinks.
“Hey, I’m in a tough spot right now. I’m not going to lie to you,” Wainwright said. “I’m not going to sugarcoat it and tell you I’m great and guys are just getting lucky. No, I’m throwing the ball in the middle of the plate and they’re crushing it. That’s the way it goes.
“I realize everybody is saying, ‘What in the world is your problem? What’s going on? I wish I had the exact, perfect answer. I could tell you. The only answer I can tell you is I’m just not getting people out like I want to and like I’m going to.”
Reds 9, Cardinals 8
Adam Wainwright was cuffed for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings Saturday, seeing his record fall to 0-2 and his ERA climb to 8.27 in a one-run loss to the Reds.
By the numbers
Wainwright allowed five of the Reds’ nine doubles, which were the most by an opponent at 11-year-old Busch Stadium III. ... The nine doubles tied the Cardinals for the most hit in a game at the ballpark and matched a Cincinnati record for most doubles in a game. ... Stephen Piscotty and Brandon Moss hit home runs for St. Louis. Piscotty’s came in the second as the Cardinals built a 4-0 lead. ... Piscotty, Moss and rookie Aledmys Diaz each had two hits. Diaz is batting .406.
Michael Wacha (1-0, 3.48 ERA) vs. John Moskot (2016 debut), 1:15 p.m.