Cardinals 2, Nationals 0
So much for building up to Opening Day… Adam Wainwright looked more than regular-season ready on Friday. Now, it should be pointed out that the Nationals hardly sent out a Major League lineup to face him. Nevertheless, Wainwright was nearly unhittable.
He threw everything in his repertoire — four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, cutter, changeup and curveball — effectively, struck out seven, did not allow a batter to reach second and threw 81 pitches (yes, 81 pitches) in eight innings. The way he was pitching, Wainwright could have probably pitched the ninth, too, before reaching his preset pitch count of 90. But the Cardinals had to get at least one reliever some work.
To read more about Wainwright’s performance and to hear his postgame comments, click here.
Because Wainwright pitched as deep as he did, neither Pat Neshek, nor Randy Choate, were able to get into Friday’s game as scheduled. Both did warm up, so the Cardinals will not bring either on the team’s trip to Kissimmee on Saturday. The Cardinals are considering having Choate face some batters in a Minor League game instead. Neshek, manager Mike Matheny said, does not need the work.
Mark Ellis is listed on the travel squad for Saturday, an indication that he will return to the field in the game against the Astros. Ellis has not played since March 13 because of left knee inflammation.
Follow me on Twitter (@LangoschMLB), Instagram (LangoschMLB) and Facebook (Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com)