Adam Wainwright continues hot start, going 8 1/3 scoreless innings against the Nationals

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Adam Wainwright is on some sort of mission.

The 31-year-old right-hander was absolutely locked in on Tuesday evening in the nation’s capital, striking out nine batters and allowing only one walk and five hits over 8 1/3 scoreless frames against a Nationals team that carries 2013 World Series aspirations.

Waino now boasts a 1.93 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 37/1 K/BB ratio through 37 1/3 innings this season. He already has one shutout, and nearly notched his second tonight but skipper Mike Matheny opted to have Edward Mujica close out the 2-0 victory.

The Cardinals must be relieved that they were able to sign Wainwright to an extension before the start of the regular season. And his five-year, $97.5 million deal is looking like a pretty good bargain early on.

Wainwright will take on the division-rival Reds at Busch Stadium next time out.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.