TCN 2014 St. Louis Starting Pitcher of Year

In a decision that should be no surprise, Adam Wainwright is again our top starting pitcher on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Of all the awards we are announcing at The Cardinal Nation for 2014, there is no selection more obvious than that of the St. Louis Starting Pitcher of the Year.

Wainwright

After all, Adam Wainwright finished tied for second in wins, second in innings pitched, third in ERA, second in complete games, tied for first in shutouts, had the lowest home run rate against and tied for the most ground ball double plays induced – not on the Cardinals, but in the entire National League.

The 33-year-old is the only major leaguer to post three scoreless inning streaks of 20 or more innings in 2014. Wainwright’s 12 starts of seven or more scoreless innings were the most by an MLB pitcher since 1916.

The eight-year veteran was the National League Player of the Week for the period of May 19-25, was the Senior Circuit’s September Pitcher of the Month and was named to his third NL All-Star team.

In other words, the choice of Adam Wainwright as The Cardinal Nation’s St. Louis Starting Pitcher of the Year is a slam dunk. This is his fourth such honor, having also been selected in 2008, 2009 and last season.

11 other pitchers also made at least one start for St. Louis in 2014 and a number of them did quite well. They range from Lance Lynn’s 33 turns to Nick Greenwood’s lone fill-in outing. Let’s look at a summary of their regular-season accomplishments, listed in ERA order, best to worst.

      QS SP   Win StL in  Tm W Avg IP K's / Run
Starter Sts QS pct ERA W-L pct starts pct per st. 9 IP spt
Wainwright 32 25 78% 2.38 20-9 69% 23-9 72% 7.0 7.1 4.3
Lynn 33 24 73% 2.74 15-10 60% 19-14 58% 6.0 8.0 3.5
Wacha 19 12 63% 3.20 5-6 45% 9-10 47% 5.2 7.9 3.6
Miller 31 14 45% 3.76 10-9 53% 15-16 48% 6.0 6.2 3.4
Garcia 7 3 43% 4.12 3-1 75% 3-4 43% 6.0 8.0 4.9
Lackey 10 6 60% 4.30 3-3 50% 6-4 60% 6.0 7.1 3.4
Kelly 7 2 29% 4.37 2-2 50% 3-4 43% 5.0 6.4 3.4
Martinez 7 0 0% 4.45 2-1 67% 5-2 71% 4.2 9.5 4.4
Gonzales 5 1 20% 4.56 3-2 60% 3-2 60% 5.0 8.4 6.0
Lyons 4 2 50% 6.55 0-3 0% 0-4 0% 5.1 8.3 2.2
Masterson 6 1 17% 7.90 2-3 40% 3-3 50% 4.2 7.2 3.7
Greenwood 1 0 0% 0.00 0-0   1-0 100% 3.0 3.0 1.0
Totals 162 90 56% 3.44 65-49 57% 90-72 56% 6.0 7.3 3.8

In addition to his well-known team leads in wins and ERA, Wainwright was also number one on the staff in quality starts and rate at 78 percent. In only three games did he start but did not get the decision and the Cards went on to take each. That gives the team a win rate of 72 percent in Wainwright starts, again number one.

Not surprisingly, his seven innings average per start paced the staff, but the heavy workload may also have contributed to his post-season struggles. Wainwright logged a 5.63 ERA in three October starts with no wins. On Friday, it was disclosed he elected to have arthroscopic surgery to shave off cartilage in his elbow.

Wainwright did not top the rotation in either strikeout rate or run support. All the staff leader did was help his team win more often than any other Cardinals pitcher in 2014.

For more

Link to master article with all 2014 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series. That will include our selection as St. Louis Player of the Year, coming on Sunday.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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