Friday, June 14, 2013

Adam Wainwright: Baseball's Best Pitcher

The discussion this year really should be about whether Cardinals ace starter Adam Wainwright will win his second (or perhaps his third) Cy Young award. He should have finished second to Chris Carpenter (or won the thing outright) in 2009 when the award inexplicably went to Tim Lincecum. He finished second to Roy Halladay in 2010 despite having a lower ERA.

I'm less bitter about Halladay than Lincecum, which was just a travesty. It will also be a travesty this year if Waino continues to pitch in the form we've seen so far this season and loses the Cy Young again to someone less deserving but closer to the myopic media centers on the East and West coasts. 

For example? Clayton Kershaw (LA)—great ERA, but only a 5-4 record. Jordan Zimmerman (WAS)—9-3, but team is barely above .500. Sure, if you look at a variety of different statistics, you can make a case for a variety of pitchers who deserve accolades at this stage of the season. But baseball is more than just statistics—it's also about chemistry and leadership.

Wainwright is on his second full season following Tommy John surgery, and he's more dominant than ever. He has full command of all his pitches, especially his vicious and destructive curveball. He has also emerged as the undisputed leader of the Cardinals young, talented pitching staff. All of the Cardinals highly touted rookie arms look to Wainwright for guidance and wisdom.

Wainwright inherited the leadership role from Chris Carpenter when Carp went down with nerve damage, and even if he makes it back to the staff this season, the pitching staff still belongs to Waino. He's also the team's undisputed stopper, the one you want on the mound after a tough loss.

He's always likely to strike out 8-12 hitters, pitch at least 7-8 strong innings, walk no one, and give up two runs or less. He's the first pitcher in the NL to reach 10 wins this season, and he's in the top four in ERA and strikeouts. A sure-fire All-Star selection, he's likely to get the start in New York this summer.

But if that doesn't convince you, just watch this:

He's got MOVES!

No comments: