ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 13: Fans wait out a rain delay prior to the home opening game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on April 13, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
The five runs in the fifth, capped off by Matt Carpenter's triple, turned this game from an awful, rainy blowout into an awful, rainy chance to be terrified about Adam Wainwright, and he just did not look great; his velocity's down, though not terminally so, his control is mostly a rumor, and the only thing that worked on Friday was his curveball, which earned some swinging strikes.
Here's the probably superstitious reason I am not actually terrified yet: He hasn't lost velocity on his secondary pitches. It became clear the jig was up for Mark Mulder when, in addition to losing considerably more velocity on his fastball, his slider also took a dive, and his curveball was replaced by that low-to-mid-60s Desparation Ball.
Wainwright's curveball is steady, his slider (cutter?) is steady, and his fastball isn't exactly worrying—his command just isn't back yet. After a year's layoff, and once I've gotten today's image out of my head, I'm willing to give him significantly more leeway before I become convinced he's still not right.
Important Note: Matt Carpenter now has more extra-base hits than walks. Something is terribly wrong with Matt Carpenter.