Adam Wainwright pitched seven shutout innings, gave up only four hits, didn’t walk a batter and used only 79 pitches in the Cardinals’ 3-0 victory over the New York Mets on Tuesday night.
But all the Wainwright news wasn’t great. Trying to chase down a pop to the right and just beyond the mound with two out in the seventh, the big right-hander suffered what the club called a hyper-extended right knee and had to exit the game.
Based on the club’s assessment after the game, however, the injury does not sound serious. Manager Mike Matheny said that Wainwright passed both strength and mobility tests administered by Cardinals’ trainers after the game.
"He may be sore for a day or two but we’ll find out more tomorrow," Matheny said on the Fox Sports Midwest Cardinals Live postgame show. Wainwright’s next start is scheduled for Sunday at home against the Pirates. Not surprisingly, he said he plans to make it.
"At first you get a little scared, but as I started walking off the field I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong," Wainwright told reporters. "All is good."
While Wainwright extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings, the Cardinals’ offense snapped its scoreless streak at a season-high 16 innings when they scored twice after loading the bases with no outs in the fourth.
— Jon Jay. If Jay keeps driving in runs like he has been, Peter Bourjos is going to be spending more and more time on the bench. Jay gave the Cardinals the lead when he grounded a two-run single to center in the fourth. His nine RBIs are two off Matt Holliday’s team lead and his batting average is up to .295 — 105 points higher than that of the scuffling Bourjos.
— Matt Holliday. He had three hits, scored the Cardinals’ first run and drove in their third. But on this night, however, it was his defense that made the difference. Holliday took a two-run homer away from Chris Young in the fifth inning with a leaping catch at the left-field fence. Well, leaping might be a stretch, but you could have fit one or maybe even two New York City-sized phonebooks under his jump.
— Albert Pujols. Go ahead and call me anti-Saint Louis if you want, but when I heard Pujols hit No. 500, I thrust both arms in the air and pointed towards the sky. I was thrilled for the man (still, the capital M is reserved for the Man I was named after). Look at the remarkable numbers Pujols put up with the Cardinals and anyone with half an ounce of reasonableness in their thinking would be happy for him, too.
— Kolten Wong. An 0-for-4 night dropped his batting average to .222, equaling his season low and likely earning him a place on the bench for Wednesday. Wong probably would not have been in the lineup anyway since a lefty, Jonathan Niese, is scheduled to start for the Mets. Coincidentally, Wong is 2 for 20 since Mark Ellis came off the disabled list. Yes, I said coincidentally.
— Holliday’s base-running. Last year, the double-play grounder was his nemesis. This year, he’s running into outs on the bases with far more frequency than he and his team would like, including twice on Tuesday. Holliday was thrown out at second trying to stretch a single in the first and in the eighth as he tried to advance to second when, on his run-scoring single, Curtis Granderson’s throw from right field went to home.
— Allen Craig. Just when he had his average almost to .200, an 0-for-5 — his second of the young season — brought it down to .184. Craig hit one ball hard to left field but struck out twice and did little else with the bat. Jhonny Peralta, hitting just .159, went 0-for-2 but did walk twice and hit the ball hard in his first at-bat, a fly to left field.
You can follow Stan McNeal on Twitter at @stanmcneal or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.