Adam 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.