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“It’s just a mindset”: why Adam Wainwright is the 39-year-old king of the entire MLB game

571 pitchers have appeared in at least one major match this year. At 39 years and 253 days old, Adam Wainwright is over 569 years old of these predators. Oliver Pérez is 15 days younger than Cleveland reliever and has changed for about a year and is richer than Rich Hill Tampa Bay starter.

There are 149 pitchers who have thrown at least 20 innings in 2021 so far. Wainright’s average fast speed is 89.6 mph for 136 of those 149 hurlers.thank you, FanGraphs!), which ranks sixth in the low percentile among all MLB pitchers (thank you, Baseball Savant!).

MORE: Complete 30 games? We will never see this one-season feat and the rest again

However … check out the full game rankings since the start of the abbreviated 2020 season. In 17 outings, Wainwright has three full games, tied with the first in the majors, along with Aaron Nola of the Phillies and Trevor Bauer of the Dodgers.

In an era of new gameplay approaches, the forgotten – but very valuable – aspect of the Wainwright game has become king.

“I’m old. The old school, too, “Wainwright told SN in a post-game Zoom after an effort on April 26 against the Phillies.” Making five or six entries isn’t getting the job done, I think, you know? In my opinion, throwing at least seven is the starting pitcher. It’s six tickets … I’m not going home excited about a six-ticket performance. When I get off the pitch after nine throws, I feel like I’ve done my job. ”

It’s the year 2021, of course, and with the introduction of a double seven-entry headline last year, not all games — or not all of them, as Madison Bumgarner can assure you — are not created equal.

Wainwright threw 25 innings in his three full games (9, 9 and 7). Bauer threw 22 entries (7, 7, 8) and How 22 (9, 7, 6). That’s not Bauer or How to hit, of course – the rules of those games threw all the inning that allowed their team – just to say that there’s a difference between the totals in the entire game.

Let’s face it: in the last two seasons, 26 pitchers have thrown at least nine innings in a game. Only two players have done that twice: Wainwright and Lance Lynn in his St. Louis game. Former friends on the Louis tour.

“What I like most about the gameplay is,” Wainwright said, “going there and getting those last three playoffs.”

He spent the last 17 games of his last nine points – and fourth overall – on Sunday in the last 17 years. The veteran made the block in the ninth against the Rockies, on 99 pitches, but after Trevor Story (what, a symbolic curve) called to open the frame, he gave Ryan McMahon a single and Charlie a walk to find Blackmon and director Mike Schildt. 113 fields. Ryan Helsley ended the blockade.

The whole game has become a curiosity, as the initial pitchers are focused on missing bats, recording attacks and throwing maximum effort (or close to it) at all pitches. Since 2000, only one pitcher has recorded full double-digit games in a season (James Shields, 11 with 2010), and only three pitchers – Wainwright (22), Clayton Kershaw (25) and Justin Verlander (20) are at least 20 CGs in total Since 2010.

It’s quite a change in the philosophy of doubt, of course. In baseball history, 97 hurlers have finished their careers in at least 10 seasons with 10 full games or more. The NL pitcher hasn’t recorded three full games in a season that Johnny Cueto had in 2015, when he had five, in 2015.

In 1986, Fernando Valenzuela led the NL to a total of 20 games, when Bert Blyleven turned 24 with AL, unless something significantly changed on the road, such as five double-inning headers and seven “regular” inning games, he feels confident. say no pitcher will reach the full 20 games again in a single season.

The irony is that entire games are probably more beneficial than ever for pitching staff. As the starters regularly throw only five or six entries, the peaks, the bullrings are working harder than ever. A full day of rest for everyone is a huge advantage.

But that is not the goal. Throw it hard. Strikeouts are better than groundout. And that’s not the “new wave” of pitchers, but the coaches and managers who are teaching how to maximize the impact of each pitch, sacrificing how many pitches they can throw in a single game.

Wainwright has not been influenced by new perspectives.

He knows what he does well, how to use things most effectively, and he doesn’t stray from that perspective.

“There are a lot and a lot of ways to get out of baseball in a lot of leagues,” he said. “It’s not throwing everything hard, and that’s the way I have to throw it.”

It’s all about throwing it away intelligently to make it work.

“It simply came to our notice then. Mad Dog (field coach Mike Maddux) always says it’s a chance to get ahead. Strike One is a chance, “Wainwright said.” I could try to get the 0-1 and 0-2 counts. That’s the name of pitching. You can do a lot of cool things.

“The key to doubt is to control the narrative. And when you control the accounts, before you keep up with the numbers 0-1 and 0-2 … if you see the great pitchers in the league, Zack (Wheeler) did it today, and Kershaw, Scherzer and deGrom, those guys, the stars, 0-1 or They’re 0-2 in every batter. There are no secrets to getting out, make it easy for yourself. And that’s what deepens your game. “

In the game against the Phillies, Wainwright had 87 pitches in seven innings. He only needed seven to pass the eighth inning, allowing for a ninth shot. I asked Schildt what makes Wainwright so effective, and why he trusts him to get the last five or six outings in a game so often.

His quick response: “Pitch-maker. He throws strikes. Multiple pitches for strikes. No walks, which allows him to delve deeper into the game. Lots of early departures. Swings told the story. He kept the boys fairly balanced all night. Good cutter, a good quick ball. A good signature ball break. Mixed in a few changes. Everything he did all night under control. It’s easy to walk with a guy with things like that, and go with that experience. “

For Wainwright everything works with his curve ball, he said he uses “12 different ways” on the pitch. When it throws a nasty curve – its rotation rate is in the 86th percentile – at 73 mph, the 89 mph four-seam fast ball looks faster than it really is. And he rarely throws that 89 mph cheese in the middle of the plate.

One of the reasons that pitchers are the initial hook is the analytical tendency to pull out the pitcher before ordering a pitcher for the third time. The numbers show an advantage for the hitters, who are generally facing a pitcher in the game for the third time. It makes sense. Knowledge favors the egg. But that’s fun for a veteran like Wainwright.

“Sometimes you can do the same things over and over again because the boys have Zulus in the swings or the approaches you can use,” he said. “And sometimes you have to do something different. … I know that there is no way in the world that you are thinking of doing this, so it may seem like a good thing if you continue within your strengths. That’s the chess game he’s playing, especially the one that starts on the field.

“The real fun is in the third and fourth time through order. That’s where the real human game of thinking begins, and that’s where I like every opportunity I have to do that. ”

The Cardinals hope to have a chance to do so this other 20 seasons, and another couple of times in October. And then maybe once again in 2022? Probably too early to talk about that, though.

“I’m having a great time exceeding expectations,” Wainwright said. “That’s something I really like. A lot of people saw me a few years ago and I thought I was finished, by the way, and every time I’m working, I know there are people who think it’s too old to go outside. Nine entries. I’m having a good time. ”.

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