On Sunday, both the 2009 Cardinals AND starting pitcher Adam Wainwright went somewhere they had never been before.
The Cardinals' destination was 22 games over .500 and 10 games ahead of the second place team in the National League Central. Wainwright's new locale is the lead in the race for the the Cy Young Award.
Both got there the same route: a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals while the Cubs lost 4-1 at home to the Mets.
Rick Ankiel, Colby Rasmus and Albert Pujols provided the offense with Ankiel driving home Rasmus with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Nats tied the game. But Pujols regained the lead for St. Louis for good with a single in the sixth also driving is Rasmus who was 2-for-3.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, flanked by catcher Yadier Molina on the left and pitching coach Dave Duncan on the right, won his MLB leading 16th game Sunday. AP photo.
Wainwright pitched six innings, giving up three hits and one earned run. He walked three and struck out seven in earning his major league leading 16th win. He lowered his ERA to 2.47 while fellow Cy Young candidate Matt Cain of the Giants who had a subpar outing against the Rockies.
Cain, 12-4, saw his ERA rise to 2.50 with eight hits and four runs allowed in six innings. San Francisco won the game after Cain was out of the contest. While it is a tight, four horse race for the Cy Young between Wainwright, Cain, the Cardinals Chris Carpenter and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, Wainwright has been getting hotter and hotter while Cain and Lincecum have cooled off in the second half. Carpenter is steady as can be. But he has fallen behind in win while Wainwright reels off one dominant start after another dating back to the beginning of June.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Pitching on his birthday and his bobblehead day, Wainwright gutted out a tough win.
Lowlight: Mark DeRosa was scratched from the start because of a problem with the wrist that landed him on the disabled list for two and a half weeks after he arrived in St. Louis.
Wainwright 16-7, 2.47, 164K
Cain 12-4, 2.50, 141K
Carpenter 14-3, 2.20, 115k
Lincecum 13-4, 2.23, 222k