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Video: Pitcher Adam Wainwright homers against the Dodgers

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Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright is no slouch at the plate. The veteran came into Thursday’s start against the Dodgers with nine career home runs to his name. He made it into double-digits with a two-run home run off of opposing starter Brandon McCarthy in the bottom of the second inning, breaking a scoreless tie.

According to Baseball Reference, Wainwright is the 45th pitcher in baseball history to hit double-digit home runs in his career. Among pitchers whose careers started this millennium, Wainwright is only the fourth pitcher with double-digit homers, joining Madison Bumgarner (16), Yovani Gallardo (12), and Carlos Zambrano (24).

Wainwright was also dealing on the mound. He tossed six shutout innings, giving up four hits and a pair of walks with six strikeouts on 101 pitches.

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.