Looking at the data, it is quite difficult to determine what happened that allowed Wainwright to resurrect his career. There hasn’t been a drastic change in the pitch mix or the shape of its offerings. Some of that could be attributed to the Cardinals’ outstanding defense behind him over the past few years, but it really comes down to health and what’s going on between the ears.
Wainwright’s first season after the Achilles injury was in 2016, a year he led the NL in hits and earned runs allowed. In 2017, Wainwright missed time for a back injury and also an elbow injury, which necessitated another surgery during which they removed a flap of cartilage which they believe resulted in a bone bruise on the bone. elbow.
In 2018, Wainwright dealt with more elbow issues, as well as a hamstring injury. The 2019 season finally brought good health to the veteran starter, who made 31 starts and pitched to a respectable 4.19 ERA.
With his injuries behind him, Wainwright has learned to pitch with his diminished tricks to be effective over the past few years. He began to limit his walks again, while keeping the ball in court to once again become one of the game’s best contact arms.
In a league where we value hot flashes and strikeouts more than ever, Wainwright is as old school as it gets. Throwing strikes, throwing on contact, eating innings. For the Cardinals, having Uncle Charlie at the head of their rotation has been invaluable to the point that they will continue to welcome him with open arms for as long as he wants to hit his 40s.
Last year, Wainwright started the Newfoundland Wild Card Game and allowed just one earned run in 5 1/3 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This year, we’ll see Wainwright pitch again in October, where he could look to leave at sunset with longtime teammates Yadier Molina and Albert Pujols, or return for another title shot if they fall short.