St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals

The quality start is an imperfect stat. That is relies on earned runs all the evidence you need to support this claim. It is a reasonable shorthand for starters, however. Historically, the vast majority of quality starts exceeds the admittedly low bar for qualification (six innings pitched with thre or fewer earned runs allowed.)

Adam Wainwright has taken the mound five times this year and he has five quality starts. Not bad. Adam Wainwright’s first start of the year was on the bottom end of the “quality start” scale but each subsequent start has been pretty stellar.

Last night, Wainwright kept his streak of hot starts rolling. He pitched into the ninth inning against the Washington Nationals, allowing just five hits and a whopping zero runs. The Cards held on to win the game 2-0 as Wainwright posted another Quality Start, registering a game score of 81. Pretty nice stuff, right?

One quibble with Wainwright’s start last night: the walks are a problem. Wainwright walked Bryce Harper in the fourth inning to load the bases. Ugh. Not really the time or place for a pitcher to allow his first walk of the season. Wait, what?

144 batters faced in 2013 for Wainwright. 37 strikeouts, one walk, zero home runs. That’s a not bad way to start the season. Nine runs allowed through five starts – starts in which he’s pitched at least six innings every time out.

Wainwright has rediscovered the form that made him top-three finalist for the Cy Young award two years in a row. After missing 2011 following Tommy John surgery, Wainwright battled through many of the growing pains associated with players coming off that major surgery in 2012, allowing more base runners and struggling out of the stretch. His final numbers were still quite good, but not the Wainwright of 2009/2010.

2009 27 34 1 0 233.0 216 75 17 66 1 212 970 155 1.210
2010 28 33 5 2 230.1 186 68 15 56 2 213 910 160 1.051
2012 30 32 3 2 198.2 196 96 15 52 3 184 831 97 1.248
2013 31 5 1 1 37.1 36 9 0 1 0 37 144 193 0.991
8 Yrs 156 12 5 1110.1 1034 421 79 302 13 945 4599 131 1.203
162 Game Avg. 28 2 1 201 187 76 14 55 2 171 834 131 1.203
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Here in early days of 2013, it looks like good old Adam Wainwright is back again. Scratch that, this is better than ever Adam Wainwright. He won’t finish the season without giving up a single home run and his 37/1 strikeout to walk ratio isn’t quite sustainable but Adam Wainwright is a good pitcher with a good defense behind him.

As the song went when he first signed his five-year contract extension, if Adam Wainwright stays healthy this year, the Cardinals can count one of the best pitchers in the game as their ace. Which they totally needed, bereft of talent as they are.

And the rest

B.J. Upton and Justin Upton went back to back last night against Colorado. That’s a normal thing that happens all the time, right? Brothers hitting home runs in consecutive at bats? No? First time since 1938? Oh.

RIP the stolen base. You were overrated but fun and now you’re gone forever. [Cameron]

The Angels and StubHub are not getting along. An interesting tale which will only end in tears for the fans. [L.A. Times]

From DBacks pitcher Brad Ziegler comes one of the funniest/oddest things you’ll ever see on a baseball field. [Ziegler's twitter]

The Most Awesome Ballpark in The World is indeed very awesome. [USA Today For the Win] (That’s the name)

Daniel Bard is on his way back to Boston. Remember him? [WEEI]

Patrick Corbin pitched really well against the Giants last night and his slider is a big reason why. [Arizona Republic]