Cards ace Wainwright not '100 percent' but improving

Sun Oct 12, 2014 2:00am EDT
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By Brett Wolf

ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Nervousness about Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright's elbow ahead of Saturday's Game One of the National League Championship Series ballooned into concern by the time the St. Louis hurler was removed in the fifth inning.

Yet while he did not look sharp in the 3-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants, Wainwright said he was feeling better and optimistic going forward.

Wainwright, whose surgically repaired right elbow flared up during his first start against the Dodgers in the NL Division Series, went four and two-thirds innings giving up six hits and three runs -- two earned -- while issuing three walks.

After the game, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said there was no indication that Wainwright's elbow was a problem.

Wainwright said the elbow was "not 100 percent" but "100 percent better than it was last time I pitched ... so the next time I pitch I expect it to be better."

The right-hander, who was 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA this season, said his struggles stemmed from mechanical issues.

"I'll correct those things and be ready next time," he said.

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina said Wainwright's stuff looked better than it did against the Dodgers, especially his cutter and curveball.   Continued...

Oct 11, 2014; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright throws a pitch against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning in game one of the 2014 NLCS playoff baseball game at Busch Stadium. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports