Adam Wainwright’s second Game 5 needs to go better than his first


For the second year in a row, the Cardinals will turn to Adam Wainwright in a decisive NLDS Game 5. Last year, they escaped with a win, but it was with no help from their ace.

Wainwright was tagged for six runs in 2 1/3 innings by the Nationals in Game 5 of the NLDS last year, and with Cy Young contender Gio Gonzalez on the mound for the Nats, things seemed bleak. The Cards offense, though, managed to score three times off Gonzalez in the fourth and fifth innings and then add six runs off the Nationals bullpen — including four in the ninth coming against Drew Storen — in a 9-7 win.

That’s the only bad outing Wainwright has had in five starts and nine relief appearances in the postseason. Including his Game 1 win against the Pirates, he’s allowed a total of four runs in his other 37 1/3 innings of work. The Cardinals will be counting on similar success if they’re going to make it back to the NLCS this year.

Madison Bumgarner diagnosed with fractured left hand

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Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner sustained a displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand on Friday. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, a procedure that could require a four- to six-week recovery period before he’s cleared to throw again. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Bumgarner’s total recovery time is expected to take 6-8 weeks. In a best-case scenario, the lefty said he should be able to pitch again before the All-Star break, but given the amount of time and care it’ll take for him to shoulder a full workload, it’s unclear whether he’ll be able to do so.

Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.

The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. Without him, the Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.

This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”