March 3: Q of the Day
Is there any concern about Adam Wainwright’s results [Saturday] in his second start?
— Jaime A., Jefferson City, Mo.
Since I didn’t write a postgame blog yesterday, I figured this question would open an opportunity to dump some of what Wainwright had to say yesterday after allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits in three innings against the Nationals yesterday.
First off, to answer your question: No, there’s no reason for concern based on what Wainwright did (or didn’t do) on Saturday. He approached the start with the intention to go heavy on fastball use. He wanted to get into a repeatable delivery that would allow him to command his fastball low in the zone. He never found that command, but he also didn’t stray away from his plan to throw fastballs. Had Wainwright been pitching in a regular season game, he would have moved on to throwing other pitches (curveballs, changeups, etc.) if the fastball wasn’t getting the job done.
As he said after pitching on Saturday, “I needed to be a little stubborn. But I also needed to be a little better.”
Wainwright has four more starts to get better. He’ll now start pitching on an extra day of rest in order to spread those starts out appropriately this month. Though he hasn’t officially been announced as the team’s Opening Day starter, Wainwright is expected to get that honor.
Results should never be taken too seriously in Spring Training, particularly when those results come during the first few days of March. So what’s next? Wainwright said his focus between Saturday and his next start will be righting his delivery.
“It’s very minor. Those are adjustments that the more I pitch, the more I can do on the fly,” Wainwright said. “I’ll put a lot of reps in in front of the mirror at home and on the side fields really feeling my delivery, learning my delivery. Those are things during the course of the season that you feel out right away and make adjustments pitch by pitch.”
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