Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright struggled in Game 1 of the NLCS on Saturday night against the Giants, allowing three runs — two earned — on six hits and three walks while failing to make it out of the top of the fifth. He has now surrendered nine runs — eight earned — on 17 hits in nine innings this postseason, and it’s quite obvious that the heavily-used 33-year-old right-hander is not close to 100 percent health.
Cards manager Mike Matheny acknowledged after Wainwright’s rough NLDS Game 1 outing against the Dodgers that Wainwright had been experiencing some discomfort near the back of his right elbow, but Saturday’s ineffectiveness against the Giants was blamed on a mechanical issue.
More from Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch …
After Saturday’s game, he retired to the video room with catcher A.J. Pierzynski to find that his hand position was off and his stride was late, causing his arm to drag behind. His fastball meandered as a result.
“I would have got a lot more out of what I could have got if I was in a better position to throw the ball,” Wainwright said. “Just everything was out of whack, out of timing.”
Wainwright did not throw any between-start bullpen sessions in September in order to save his bullets for October, but he told Goold that his arm “is in a position (health-wise) that I can and should throw” one before he takes the bump again in this best-of-seven National League Championship Series. That would be Game 5.