Adam Wainwright: My mechanics were bad in Game 1

Adam WainwrightAdam Wainwright is pretty much the definition of an ace pitcher. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2009 and 2010, and he was one of the best in 2012 and this season after returning from surgery in 2011. He was light’s out in the NLDS against the Pittsburgh Pirates and had a strong start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS despite taking the loss. But in Game 1 of the World Series, Wainwright had a subpar outing in an 8-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. Waino says his mechanics were poor during that start.

“I honestly don’t know why my mechanics were as bad as they were, my delivery was off as much as it was,” Wainwright said Sunday at a news conference, via MLB.com “But I feel like I’ve put a lot of good reps in in front of the mirror, and watching film and feeling my delivery again, learning the basics all over again. I feel like I’ve made a lot of good adjustments to be ready for this next game to throw some quality pitches. I threw maybe four or five quality pitches the whole time I was pitching [in Game 1]. Luckily, to come away with just a few runs; it could have been ten instead of five.”

There was some speculation that Wainwright’s problems were related to the Red Sox being able to read his pitches, not a mechanical issue. ESPN’s Jayson Stark raised that possibility because he noted that Boston seemed to lay off Wainwright’s curveballs the way most teams can’t.

What’s interesting is that this was the same strategy the Pirates employed in the NLDS. The problem was Pittsburgh announced their plans to the world ahead of time, which led Wainwright to make an adjustment accordingly. Maybe Game 5 will tell us whether the Red Sox know something about Wainwright’s pitches, or whether he just had trouble with his mechanics.

Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina let popup drop (GIF)

adam-wainwright-yadier-molinaAs if allowing three runs in the bottom of the first in Game 1 of the World Series wasn’t already a bad enough sign for the St. Louis Cardinals, they committed a mistake in the second that seemed to confirm it really wasn’t their game.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew led off the second inning with a popup to the pitcher. Adam Wainwright was calling for the ball from the start, but catcher Yadier Molina chased after it. Then there was confusion between the two about who would make the play, and they ended up letting it drop.

GIFs via @BuzzFeedSports, @CorkGaines

Adam Wainwright: Adrian Gonzalez heckled me at third base

Adam WainwrightAdam Wainwright cleared up a misunderstanding regarding his issues with Adrian Gonzalez’s “Mickey Mouse” behavior during Game 3 on Monday night, explaining that he wasn’t annoyed with a celebration, but with Gonzalez heckling him.

LBS and many other outlets incorrectly believed Wainwright was annoyed with the way Gonzalez celebrated his RBI double to put the Los Angeles Dodgers up 1-0 in Game 3. Gonzalez gave a comment after the game indicating he thought Wainwright was upset with his celebration, but Wainwright explained on Tuesday that it was Gonzalez’s behavior at third that got to him.

“He told me to throw the ball to the backstop when he was at third base,” Wainwright explained to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

Gonzalez, for his part, denied heckling Wainwright.

“I wasn’t chirping at him,” Gonzalez said via the Los Angeles Times. “(Third base coach Tim Wallach) said, ‘Curve ball in the dirt, make sure you go.’ I said, ‘Curve ball in the dirt, I go.’ ”

So there you go — misunderstanding semi cleared up. And we apologize for creating the belief that Wainwright was upset with Gonzalez’s celebration. Now that the Cardinals are up 3-1 in the series, this issue will seem like an afterthought if St. Louis advances.

Adam Wainwright: Adrian Gonzalez was doing Mickey Mouse stuff

Adam Wainwright may not have noticed some of Yasiel Puig’s antics after the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder hit an RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS on Monday, but he did notice Adrian Gonzalez’s hyped reaction to an RBI double.

Gonzalez gave the Dodgers their first run of the series since the third inning of Game 1 by knocking an RBI double in the fourth. Gonzalez celebrated the hit like a guy who just gave his team their first lead in ages, and Wainwright took note. The St. Louis Cardinals pitcher must have been asked about Puig pimping an eventual triple, because he said this after the game.

“I didn’t see Puig’s reaction. I saw Adrian doing some Mickey Mouse stuff at second, but I didn’t see Puig,” Wainwright said, per OC Register reporter Pedro Moura.

I really wouldn’t call what Gonzalez did “Mickey Mouse stuff” because he reacted like most players would after delivering a huge hit in front of the home crowd in the playoffs. Gonzalez also noted that it’s the same celebration he has been doing all season.

“I did what I always do, but we are in L.A., so Mickey Mouse is only an hour away,” he said, per Moura.

That was a big run allowed by Wainwright, so it’s understandable why the ace pitcher would be perturbed. Maybe next time he shouldn’t shake off Yadier Molina two times and then he wouldn’t be in that situation.

Here’s a look at the “Mickey Mouse” gesture Gonzalez does:

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Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright share intimate embrace

Yadier Molina Adam WainwrightYadier Molina and Game 5 pitching hero Adam Wainright shared this intimate embrace after beating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 on Wednesday night. I mean they were a couple of inches away from a kiss there. It’s kind of sweet seeing how close they are. All that was missing was a little Diana Ross and Lionel Richie doing Endless Love.

Koji Uehara and David Ortiz could learn a thing or two from their tenderness.

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Adam Wainwright: Pirates divulged their game plan to media

Adam Wainwright NLDSYou know how some players and coaches are grumps with the media and don’t say a whole lot to reporters? A lot of times that’s because they are protecting valuable information. Perhaps the Pittsburgh Pirates should have taken that approach prior to Game 5 of the NLDS.

Prior to the decisive Game 5 that the Pirates lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1, a few Pittsburgh hitters revealed part of their game plan for facing Cards starter Adam Wainwright. They said that they swung at too many of his breaking balls in a Game 1 loss to him, so they were planning to lay off of it this time.

After throwing a complete game for the win Wednesday, Wainwright said in his postgame interview with TBS that he knew how to attack the Pirates hitters because his opponents divulged their game plan.

“They said in the media that they were going to try to not swing at any of my breaking stuff,” Wainwright said with a smile. “I guess I had to go out there and prove I could throw it for strikes.”

Wainwright did just that — he threw 96 pitches, 66 of which were strikes. According to analysis from Joe Lucia of The Outside corner, Wainwright threw 48 curves in Game 5 compared to 33 in Game 1. He got five outs in play on it both games, but knowing that the Pirates would try laying off of it more, he used his curve more in Game 5. Baseball Tonight researcher Justin Havens says the 48 curveballs in Game 5 were the most Wainwright had thrown in a start in his last five years.

So how did he know what the Pirates’ approach would be? Just take a look at these comments from some of Pittsburgh’s hitters made prior to Game 5.

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Adam Wainwright: Bad barbecue makes me want to fight somebody

Adam-Wainwright-CardinalsSt. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright loves baseball. If he didn’t, he probably would not be pitching professionally. But there is something in life he seems to love much, much more. That something is barbecue.

During a Q&A with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this week, Wainwright discussed how big of a foodie he considers himself to be. When Derrick Goold asked him what food he would equate to pitching Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006, the right-hander gave a convincing response.

“It would be a combination of steak and barbeque,” Wainwright said. “Because I can eat good barbeque every single day of my whole life, without question, no doubt. I can tell you that right now. I love it. I’m obsessed with it. Also, bad barbeque makes me want to fight somebody. When I have a really bad rib or a really bad pulled pork, it just makes me angry. It’s such a great piece of meat to ruin.”

You think this guy is messing around about his brisket? It certainly doesn’t sound like it. Remember, this is the same guy that hammers down a certain type of sandwich to survive a hot summer day. Food is a major part of Wainwright’s life — there’s really no denying that at this point.

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE