Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals’ victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in St. Louis last night was special for many reasons (hey, they won again!), not the least of which was Wainwright’s dominant performance.
Let’s make clear early on (because someone will, if I don’t) that the D’Backs aren’t exactly in the upper echelon of competition right now – which is to say, they’re now 18-29 on the season after last night – but when a pitcher is as on, and has the stuff and command that Wainwright did last night, it’s going to be hard to hit him if you’re the ’27 Yankees.
PH8’s loyal readers (all four of you) and FRIENDS OF THE BOLG know that we’re big fans of the Pitching Game Score metric here, using it to judge the quality of a pitcher’s start. Well, by that and any other metric, Wainwright’s start was just as good as it looked to the naked eye. In fact, it ranks as one of the top 21 ALL-TIME in Cardinals history going back to 1914.
|1||Roy Parmelee||1936-04-29||STL||NYG||W 2-1||17.0||6||1||1||4||9||0||116||57||50|
|2||Tex Carleton||1933-07-02 (1)||STL||NYG||L 0-1||16.0||8||0||0||7||7||0||106||63||54|
|3||Harry Brecheen||1950-04-30||STL||CHC||W 1-0||SHO13 ,W||13.0||5||0||0||1||8||0||104||44||41|
|4||Jose DeLeon||1989-08-30||STL||CIN||L 0-2||GS-11||11.0||1||0||0||0||8||0||109||74||103||33||33|
|5||Lee Meadows||1917-09-22||STL||BSN||T 0-0||14.0||10||0||0||0||10||0||102||48||48|
|6||Bob Gibson||1969-07-25||STL||SFG||W 2-1||CG 13 ,W||13.0||6||1||1||2||11||0||100||46||40|
|7||Bill Doak||1917-06-11||STL||PHI||W 5-4||15.0||6||4||2||3||10||0||100||53||47|
|8||Shelby Miller||2013-05-10||STL||COL||W 3-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||0||13||0||113||84||98||28||28|
|9||Max Lanier||1944-07-02 (1)||STL||BRO||W 2-1||CG 14 ,W||14.0||7||1||1||5||9||0||98||52||46|
|10||Bob Gibson||1968-05-06||STL||NYM||W 2-1||CG 11 ,W||11.0||3||1||1||1||11||0||97||36||35|
|11||Ernie Broglio||1960-07-15||STL||CHC||W 6-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||2||14||0||97||30||28|
|12||Jesse Haines||1920-10-01||STL||CHC||L 2-3||16.1||10||3||2||4||8||0||97||59||54|
|13||Bob Gibson||1970-06-17||STL||SDP||W 8-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||2||13||0||96||29||27|
|14||Jim Winford||1936-09-09||STL||BSN||W 3-1||15.0||11||1||1||1||6||0||96||55||51|
|15||Red Ames||1915-09-19 (2)||STL||PHI||W 1-0||10.0||1||0||0||2||7||0||95||31||29|
|16||Adam Wainwright||2014-05-20||STL||ARI||W 5-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||0||9||0||115||86||94||28||28|
|17||Chris Carpenter||2005-06-14||STL||TOR||W 7-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||1||10||0||95||68||94||28||27|
|18||Matt Morris||2004-09-03||STL||LAD||W 3-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||2||0||0||0||11||0||111||81||94||29||29|
|19||Bob Gibson||1971-08-14||STL||PIT||W 11-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||0||0||0||3||10||0||94||31||28|
|20||Steve Carlton||1968-06-19||STL||CHC||W 4-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||0||9||0||94||29||28|
|21||Paul Dean||1934-09-13||STL||NYG||W 2-0||12.0||6||0||0||3||7||0||94||45||41|
This is what I love about the Play Index at Baseball Reference – I go to find out just how good and historically significant* Wainwright’s start was, and find all of these fifteen and sixteen inning gems back in the archives. And lest we forget, Shelby Miller had a pretty good outing against Colorado last year. Also a shout-out to poor Jose DeLeon, who went eleven with no runs and only one hit, yet couldn’t get a win.
* Yes, historically significant. I had an interesting epiphany last night while watching Twitter for reactions to the game. Someone, I don’t recall who (and it’s really not important because there’s nothing wrong with what they said), mentioned that the Cards’ announcing team was getting all fired up as if Wainwright’s performance was some big deal, of historical significance, or otherwise super-important outside of just being a good one-hit start. Well, if the chart above is any indication, it was. On par with Bob Gibson‘s no-hitter in 1971. Much better than, say, Edwin Jackson’s no-hitter in 2010 (85 Game Score). So while I’m not fully on-board with the “no-hitters aren’t special” crusade of Brian Kenny, I can appreciate the sentiment of paying more attention to great starts in general – because this one was.
So the above chart is great, and shows the overall historical significance of Wainwright’s evening, but what if we pared it down a little bit to reflect the reality of today’s game – the nine-innings is a full day’s work reality?
|1||Shelby Miller||2013-05-10||STL||COL||W 3-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||0||13||0||113||84||98||28||28|
|2||Ernie Broglio||1960-07-15||STL||CHC||W 6-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||2||14||0||97||30||28|
|3||Bob Gibson||1970-06-17||STL||SDP||W 8-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||2||13||0||96||29||27|
|4||Adam Wainwright||2014-05-20||STL||ARI||W 5-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||0||9||0||115||86||94||28||28|
|5||Chris Carpenter||2005-06-14||STL||TOR||W 7-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||1||10||0||95||68||94||28||27|
|6||Matt Morris||2004-09-03||STL||LAD||W 3-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||2||0||0||0||11||0||111||81||94||29||29|
|7||Bob Gibson||1971-08-14||STL||PIT||W 11-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||0||0||0||3||10||0||94||31||28|
|8||Steve Carlton||1968-06-19||STL||CHC||W 4-0||SHO9 ,W||9.0||1||0||0||0||9||0||94||29||28|
Obviously we see the same names, same performances as above – but presented in the nine inning context we see just how good this outing was by Wainwright. I won’t post the whole thing here, but looking at nine inning starts since 1914 across all of MLB it ranks among the top 205. That’s historically significant.
I don’t want to speak for Daniel, but I feel fairly safe saying that Waino gets the HERO for last night’s game.