After 236 professional starts, 98 of them in the majors, Adam Wainwright finally has his first shutout. "I have to have the most starts without a shutout. It's impossible not to," said Wainwright, after his two-hitter. "I can cross that off my list."
Wainwright gave up a double in each of the first two innings and a walk in the fourth. Those were the only runners for the Milwaukee Brewers, whose final 18 hitters were retired in order.
Manager Tony La Russa said Wainwright (8-3) hit catcher Yadier Molina's glove "90 percent of the time." And Molina said, "If you can pitch better than that, you're going to be in the Hall of Fame."
Wainwright beat the Brewers for the fourth time in five decisions over the last two seasons. In six starts over that span, Wainwright has allowed five runs.
Wainwright's dominance was such that he threw 22 first-pitch strikes and had only two three-ball counts, including the hitter he walked.
In just his fourth season
as a big-league starter, Wainwright is as good as almost anybody one could name
and he said he has reached whatever plateau he has attained by learning from
veteran teammate Chris Carpenter and reading about Carpenter's former
"I read all the articles about (Halladay)," said Wainwright. "Those two guys learned from Roger Clemens and those guys are going pitch to pitch. There must be something to it, so that's what I'm trying to do."
CARDINALS 8, BREWERS
0: After losing
13 of their last 16 games to Milwaukee at Busch Stadium, the Cardinals played
one of their best games of the year on Friday. Besides RHP Adam Wainwright's
two-hit pitching, they were three for seven with men in scoring position and
played flawless defense. Their victory put them back into undisputed possession
of first place, one game ahead of
NOTES AND QUOTES
CF Colby Rasmus, a career .170 hitter against left-handed pitching, hit his first homer of the season against a LHP when he solved Randy Wolf for a two-run drive in the sixth. Those two runs batted in gave Rasmus three against lefthanders this season.
The Cardinals will face two more LHPs in this series in Chris Narveson and Manny Parra. They are 8-6 against left-handed starters although they had hit some 30 points lower (.272 to .243) against southpaws before Friday.
"We've got a winning record against lefthanders," said manager Tony La Russa. "We should have a good lineup against lefthanders. There are guys who were down who are starting to climb up against lefthanders."
RHP Brad Penny played 10 minutes of catch for a third time but still hasn't been cleared to begin throwing off a mound. Penny, who has been on the disabled list since May 22 with a strained muscle in his upper back, said he was feeling "better."
Hitting coach Mark McGwire was back on duty after helping to welcome triple daughters to the world. The girls' names are Marlo, Monet and Monroe, with all having the middle name of Rose.
In SS Brendan Ryan's last five starts, the Cardinals are 5-0. He had two more hits on Friday, giving him four in his last two games and jumping his average to .219.
LF Matt Holliday continues his surge. Holliday, hitting safely for the eighth straight game (14-for-29), also drove in a run for the fifth straight game with a seventh-inning double.
By the Numbers:
34-Consecutive games (he played every inning) before rookie 3B David Freese was rested May 28.
Quote to Note:
"That's why those guys scout and I'm playing."
-1B Albert Pujols, referring to those baseball people who had sounded off on what had happened to Pujols' extra-base pop. Pujols hit three homers in a game for the fourth time in his career May 30.
SS Felipe Lopez (swollen right thumb) left the June 1 game. He did not play June 2, but he should return to action June 4.
RHP Kyle Lohse (right forearm strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 23. He had surgery May 28 to alleviate muscle discomfort, and he is expected to be out until at least late July.
RHP Brad Penny (strained upper back) went on the 15-day disabled list May 22. He might return mid June.