Tha Sports Junkies 101

Michael Wacha Dominates, Collects First Career Shutout

Wacha beisbolsinaoal/ via


After winning Tuesday night, the Cardinals improved to 46-47.  They have also won 13 of their last 20, bringing them within 4.5 games of first place.  A big part of that run, has been the resurgence of Michael Wacha.  Wacha is 3-0 in July, with a miniscule 0.87 ERA.  Most notably though, was his start Tuesday, against the Mets.

Wacha’s Shutout

It was the first time in Wacha’s Major League career, of 99 starts, and the first time since he was a Junior at Texas A&M, that he threw a complete game shutout.  What made his outing even more impressive, was the lack of his best pitch, the changeup, through the first two innings.  Wacha was able to use his curveball and cutter to get hitters out, before he gained control of the changeup.  Matheny said, of Wacha’s repertoire, “In the past, it’s been sit on the straight fastball in the bottom of the zone, or you’re going to sit on that changeup.  That breaking ball throws a little wrinkle in there.  The cutter was extremely effective too.”

When he finally did find the release point for the change, it was all over for the Mets’ hitters.  Wacha only threw more than 15 pitches in two innings, and only exceeded 20 twice.  He finished the night with a pitch count of 119.  His line looked as follows, 9IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 8K.  Here is what he had to say about his first ever complete game shutout, “It’s a pretty cool feeling.  It’s something I’ve never tasted in the big leagues.”  Wacha continued, “I felt good out of the bullpen.  [Being my] first start since the All-Star break I’ve had some time off, and the arm and body have been feeling really good.  It was just a matter of finding the command.  Me and Yadi got in a nice little groove out there, keeping guys off balance, and guys were making great plays behind me.  It worked out really well.”

Potential Impact

Wacha’s success in his last four starts, not only has kept him out of the bullpen, but has also helped keep the Cardinals in contention.  The way Adam Wainwright has pitched recently, along with Mike Leake, Lance Lynn, and the ace Carlos Martinez, if Wacha can be even close to what he has been this month, the Cards will have a great chance to get back in the playoffs.  Also, it the staff can keep them in the hunt, the Cardinals are sure to be more on the buying side come the July 31 trade deadline.  If there are any negatives to Wacha pitching to his potential, someone else is going to have to point them out to me, because I cannot see them.