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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

Adam Wainwright eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to survive hot days

Playing a sport in incredibly hot weather is never an easy task, and it is important that athletes take extra precaution when doing so and make sure they are drinking enough water. Fluids and peanut butter and jelly are crucial for a player’s survival on a hot day. Just ask Adam Wainwright, who threw six strong innings and allowed only one hit against the Rockies on Wednesday while battling 103-degree temperatures.

“When you’re playing in heat like that it’s important to keep those calories in you,” Wainwright, who also hammered down a protein bar between innings, explained. “You’ve got to make sure you are hydrating well.

“Always strawberry (jelly) on game days. Like Tiger (Woods) wearing red on Sunday.”

Some have said that Tiger wears red on Sundays to intimidate his opponents, so perhaps Wainwright feels that eating a PB&J in the dugout has the same effect. When opposing hitters look over and see that he’s loading up on carbs and sugar, they know he’s not messing around. Some guys wear red shirts when they’re in the zone, some eat sugary snacks and others toss back a hot dog. Whatever works — they’re all professionals for a reason.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

Lance Berkman gives away Adam Wainwright’s truck as April Fool’s prank

April Fool’s day has officially come and gone, and as far as we know everyone survived without any serious lasting damage. Adam Wainwright just barely escaped the day with his own truck, however. After the second inning of the Cardinals spring training game against the Nationals, St. Louis’ public address announcer announced over the stadium speakers that a lucky fan had just won a 2009 Chevy Silverado. It just so happens that Wainwright also drives a 2009 Silverado, so you can see where this is heading.

The truck, which was driven by Lance Berkman, rolled out onto the field and the winning fan — David Freese’s cousin — ran onto the field with his son and joyfully hopped in the back. Berkman then drove away.

“Hilarious,” Wainwright said when he was finally sure it was just a joke. “Those are the kinds of things that keep baseball pretty fun — besides the fact that baseball is already pretty fun.”

Several teammates including Skip Schumaker helped Berkman execute the prank. Imagine how much funnier a prank like that would be on a day other than April Fool’s when your teammate doesn’t expect it.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Adam Wainwright Says He is ‘Obsessed With’ Tim Tebow

I know this may be earth-shattering news, but a lot of people like Tim Tebow.  He’s kind of popular.  Tebow’s team may have recently been embarrassed by the Patriots in Foxboro, but his following remains as strong as ever.  There are a number of men out there who — whether they admit it or not — have a serious man crush on Teebs.  In many ways, I can’t say I blame them.  Very few, however, feels as strongly about Tebow as Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright.

“I am obsessed with Tim Tebow,” Wainwright said according to an MLB.com story.  “I’m not afraid to say it. It’s almost embarrassing to us athletes that this much emphasis is put on Tim Tebow because that means we aren’t living our lives as we should. If we did that more often, the way he is living wouldn’t be as big a story. I’m so proud of him for living out his faith.

“Tim Tebow is such a great role model. I feel like he’s the face of sports right now, and rightfully so. He gives the whole nation something to believe in. It’s a story of hope.”

Tebow certainly is the face of sports and he certainly is a quality role model.  Wainwright is not the first, nor the second professional athlete to praise Tebow and he won’t be the last.  As far as obsession is concerned, that may be a little much.  I think everything Tebow does for the community and the way he uses his celebrity status to better the lives of others is terrific, but something about grown men worshiping other grown men just throws me for a loop.

Jonny Gomes Celebrates Over News of Adam Wainwright’s Elbow Injury

I know Jonny Gomes plays for the Reds who are competing in the NL Central with the rival Cardinals, but how about a little sportsmanship, huh? The hot-headed outfielder took the news of Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright’s elbow injury pretty happily, as we learned via With Leather. From the Dayton Daily News:

Jonny Gomes walked into the Cincinnati Reds spring training clubhouse early Wednesday morning singing at the top of his warbly voice.

The melody was not recognizable, but the words were plaintive: “Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone, Wainwright’s gone,” he sang joyously.

Sportsmanship at its very finest. Sure Wainwright’s injury would decimate the Cardinals and boost Cincinnati’s chances of repeating as NL Central champs, but true sportsmen want to see another team go down to defeat because of injury; you want to beat the opposing team’s best. But that’s Jonnny Gomes for you, the classic dugout top-stepper. I guess the good news is the NL Central is becoming even more intriguing than last year.