Wainwright’s start ranks in Cardinals’ Top 21 All-Time by Game Score

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.

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF AB
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
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/21/2014.

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?

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc BF AB
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
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/21/2014.

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.

  • Buddhasillegitimatechild38

    Ernie Broglio was a good pitcher before he became a base nabbing LF

    • PitchersHitEighth

      Sure was, and the reason why lots of folks at the time thought the Cards got fleeced.

  • Tulsa Terry

    What bothers me is the fact that Wainwright had to beg to be left in to pitch the 9th after a closer meltdown in the previous game. Probably bothered the Diamondbacks more.

    • PitchersHitEighth

      Eh, I’m indifferent. Was a great start regardless of being allowed to finish it off, especially with a five run lead. At some point, I’d like to see Wainwright get a breather rather than throwing 120 pitches every start, but I’m sure he’d punch me for saying that.

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