“Have you thought about it? Well, everyone asks me about it,” Wainwright said incredibly. “We will see what happens. We have to know very soon if something happens. If not, it was a good run and thank you, St. Louis.”
Wainwright, 41, can be forgiven for not being completely willing to consider such a huge decision considering he assumed the Cardinals still had plenty of time in their season. After a year in which he and Molina set an NL/AL record for a career started by a battery, Pujols made a big jump into and through 700 home runs and the Cardinals won their first NL Central race in three years, Wainwright totally figured St. Louis had a magical playoff In store.
This would have happened if they hadn’t completely happened Melted in the collapse of the ninth inning From a 6-3 loss to Phillies in Friday’s 1 game. And when Aaron Nola silenced the Cardinal’s rackets completely in Saturday’s 2-0 loss, St. Louis exited the playoffs, Pujols’ career and Molina ended with an unexpected surprise.
Wainwright, who has yet to reveal if he plans to return in 2023, admitted he was quite surprised by the season ending in a grumble rather than another magical moment. The comeback in 2022 was easy after going 17-7 with 3.05 ERA the previous season; This scenario, however, makes for a tougher call.
Wainwright, who spent the early stages of Game 2 on the playing field and said he was ready for Game Three, said the series has gone that far. “It was very special, what happened. With our two men here and what they were bringing to the table, I always thought we were going to win it.”
Wainwright used to win throughout his 18-year career, racking up 195 wins, four top five votes in the NL Cy Young Award and a World Series ring in 2006. He was injured during the 2011 Cardinal World Championship season. Among active shooters, Wainwright ranks first in full matches (28); 5th place in wins (195), hits (2147) and quality starts (242); And the eighth in the era (3.38).
Myles Mikulas, the loser in Saturday’s game two, said he was already starting to pressure Wainwright to come back, stressing, “I’ve already told him, ‘I’ll see you in the spring.’ I hope it’s not as a coach, because he’s an irreplaceable man like Yadi and Albert. You are. You know if he comes to mind, he’ll be 100% ready. I hope that’s the choice he’ll make because I can really use another year of Waino.”
Last season was a bit of an anomaly as the 6-foot-7 Wainwright struggled so hard along his stretch that he wasn’t given the chance to play in the Wild Card series against the advanced Phillies. This insult, he said, will play a role in his decision on whether to make it through this season one way or the other.
“Well, you can never tell,” Wainwright said when asked if he’d be excited to go 11-12 and get past him in the play-offs. “I’m going to tell you this: I don’t like not showing a comma string. So, you can take that one of two ways – you can take that because it was a good run or you can take it as motivation to not let that happen again.”
Wainwright spoke earlier in the season about how one of his childhood heroes growing up in Georgia, John Smoltz, “never looked well” dressed as the Cardinals after a Hall of Fame pitcher spent much of his career with the Braves. He added that he couldn’t see himself wearing another team’s uniform – which is probably why Wainwright was still in full uniform an hour after Saturday’s final loss ended.
What Wainwright also couldn’t have imagined was promoting another catcher than Molina, who ended his 19-year career with the Cardinal on Saturday with a knockout in the final. Already the most profitable battery in MLB history (213 wins), Wainwright and Molina teamed up to set an NL/AL endurance record (328 starts) late in the season. Their 2,155 innings ranked first in the cardinals’ history and fourth all-time. Only 412 1/3 of Wainwright’s innings were cast to a hunter other than the departing Molina.
So would Wainwright survive without the player and close friend who has been his personal poacher for most of the past 18 seasons?
“If that happened,” he said bluntly, “it would never be the same.” “But, if it doesn’t, I’ll have the greatest catcher that’s been hunting me of all time.”