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Adam Wainwright admits he grooved fastball to Derek Jeter, backtracks

Derek Jeter’s storybook farewell to the All-Star Game will go down in history with an asterisk thanks to Adam Wainwright.

Jeter started at shortstop and batted leadoff for the American League Tuesday in Minnesota, and he got his team started with a line drive down the right field line for a double. Mike Trout tripled him in, and then Miguel Cabrera smacked a 2-run home run off Wainwright, who had a bad first inning that put the NL in a 3-0 hole.

Later in the evening, Wainwright told reporters he intentionally gave Jeter a pitch to hit.

“I was gonna give him a couple of pipe shots. He deserved it,” said Wainwright. “I didn’t know he was going to hit a double or I might have changed my mind.”

The pitch tracking data supports Wainwright’s admission; his first pitch (taken for a ball) was 94 mph, while the second was 87 mph and down the middle. Jeter cracked the second for a double.

Adam WainwrightAfter all the Wainwright chatter started making the rounds, he wanted to clear things up. During an interview with Erin Andrews, the Cardinals pitcher backtracked from his previous admission.

“Sometimes my humor gets taken the wrong way. I feel terrible about this. If anyone’s taken any credit away from what Derek Jeter has done today or off me or anything … it was mis-said. I made a mistake by that,” Wainwright said.

“I hope people realize I’m not intentionally giving up hits out there. I know this game means something. I’m guessing people think I’m trying to give up home runs to Miguel Cabrera, too.

“It’s a distraction and I did not want to be a distraction. If anything was taken away from his moment, then I sincerely apologize. At no point in my career have I gone out and intentionally given up hits.”

If you ask me, I think Wainwright gave Jeter a pitch he could hit. Jeter still did the hard work by turning it into a double, but I think Waino helped him out. Wainwright just screwed up by telling the media he did that.

After the game, Jeter was told about Wainwright’s comments and gave a great answer:

Jeter also got a hit in the third and finished the game 2-for-2. And now Wainwright goes down in history in the same conversation as Chan Ho Park.

Clayton Kershaw understands why Mike Matheny chose Adam Wainwright as NL starter

Clayton KershawClayton Kershaw has been the premier pitcher in MLB this season, but the reigning Cy Young Award winner was not selected as the NL starter for Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Target Field. Instead, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who is managing the All-Star team, chose his stud Adam Wainwright as the starter.

Rather than be angry or bitter over the decision, Kershaw said he understands Matheny’s choice.

“I kind of assumed [it would happen],” Kershaw said of Matheny’s choice via the OC Register’s Bill Plunkett. “Adam had best first half. It’s his manager. You’re not going to not pick your guy.”

He’s absolutely right. Matheny has to reward his guy in this case, and it’s not like picking Wainwright is a stretch; he is deserving of the honor.

Though Kershaw through a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts and had a streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings just before the break, Wainwright’s numbers have been outstanding as well. Waino is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 0.83 WHIP and has pitched more than 42 fewer innings than Wainwright, though he has 11 more strikeouts than the Cardinals ace.

Kershaw has been the hottest pitcher, but Wainwright has done more. He is fully deserving of the honor. And credit to Kershaw for having a good attitude about things. There’s a reason why they say Kershaw is just as good of a guy off the field as on it.

It’s also nice that Wainwright completely appreciates the honor.

“Just an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement,” Wainwright said when describing how he felt upon being told the news by his manager during an interview with ESPN’s Buster Olney. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Something I’ve been kind of jealous of other people that got to do that. I can remember a lot of those pitchers who started the All-Star Game, so to be on that list is pretty special.”

Adam Wainwright has American flag painted on face in support of U.S. Men’s National Team

adam-wainwright-american-flag

Later on today, the U.S. Men’s National Team will face Portugal in what could be one of the more memorable matches in American soccer history.

A win would see the USA advance from the World Cup group stage and make their matchup against Germany next Thursday for the top spot in Group G.

USA’s 2-1 win over Ghana last Monday drew unprecedented ratings, becoming the most viewed men’s soccer match ever on ESPN or ESPN2, via Forbes. Sunday’s match will surely be appointment viewing as well and among those pumped for game is St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright.

Wainwright showed up to the ballpark prior to the Cardinals’ game on Sunday with an American flag painted over his entire face and struck quite the fierce pose for the media.

It’s safe to say Adam is ready for the biggest U.S. men’s soccer match in four years. Are you?

Photo: Twitter/@LangoschMLB

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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