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Adam Wainwright fights mean regression - A Hunt and Peck

Regression is mean. Fight it with all you got, Waino.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Avengers: Infinity War was released in April of 2018. It was a box office hit. It seems pretty unlikely anyone wanting to know what happens in that movie is still unaware, but if so...


In Infinity War a gigantic purple space-alien villain named Thanos is seeking out these things called Infinity Stones to put in this giant metal glove he is wearing called The Gauntlet. The Avengers try to stop him, but ultimately he succeeds in collecting all — how many of them are there, like six? Let’s go with that — six stones. With a snap of his fingers 50% of the people on Earth — or in the galaxy or universe or something like that — are turned to dust and vanish. This is called The Decimation by most Avenger enthusiasts, but that is not at all accurate because that implies the Universe was decreased by a tenth — you know, deci? I heard someone once call it the Snapture. I like that better.

In the month of September Adam Wainwright had been incredible. In four games he had pitched 27 innings and allowed only one earned run. He had given up no home runs, walked five, and had struck out 14. His earned run average was a sparkling .33. Trouble was brewing though. He had stranded an unsustainable 92% of his baserunners with some help from a .241 BABIP. He had only struck out 13.7% of batters while walking 4.9%. His swinging strike rate was 5.5% (for comparison, on the season 12.7% of Jack Flaherty’s pitches result in swinging strikes; on the season Adam Wainwright is at 7.5%). Only 47% of the balls hit in play against Wainwright were on the ground. Regression was coming like a gigantic, purple space-alien villain.


Like T’Challa, Star Lord, Spider-Man, and many others, my article idea to write about Adam Wainwright’s great September fluttered away in the breeze. On Monday night his homerless streak was snapped at five games. Waino was dinged for five earned runs in five innings. He soared through the first two innings only giving up one run after a barrage of hits before Christian Walker homered in the third. The fourth inning went three-up, three-down. Then the fifth happened.

The inning really encompassed all the the troubling underlying data we have discussed so far. A walk — of which he has been issuing too many — followed by four-straight singles — the LOB and BABIP regression — followed by a sacrifice fly — the low groundball rate — scored five runs and knocked Waino out the game. All that was missing was the home run regression, but that happened two innings earlier.

None of this is to take away from the excellent results Waino had in September to this point. Even with this latest clunker he is still having a great month. His ERA is still only 1.69. His FIP is over a run higher at 3.03, but look at the ERA — it is so shiny! After Monday night his strikeout rate actually went up to 15.9%. He has been getting the job done and with the Cardinals fighting with the Brewers for the division down the stretch, that is really all that matters right now.

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