General manager John Mozeliak said last month that the Cardinals planned to exercise their 2012 and 2013 options on rehabbing right-hander Adam Wainwright and now they’ve made things official.
Wainwright, who missed the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery during spring training, will earn $9 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013. That total commitment of two years and $21 million is the exact same amount rotation-mate Chris Carpenter agreed to last month as a contract extension.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch “the club expects Wainwright to have a normal offseason and be cleared for full workouts come next spring training.”
Goold reports that Wainwright recently had to stop throwing for a week when going at close to full strength disrupted some painful scar tissue, but he’s resumed playing catch. Making a $21 million commitment to someone who hasn’t pitched since 2010 is obviously a big risk, but before the surgery Wainwright ranked among the truly elite starters in baseball and even with Albert Pujols’ status up in the air the Cardinals will clearly remain in win-now mode for next season.
Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.
The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.
For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.