Adam Wainwright’s 200th career win (from seven innings of shutout ball against the Brewers on September 18) has been confirmed as the last pitching appearance of the right-hander’s outstanding career, but Wainwright stepped up to the plate one final time in yesterday’s 19-2 Cardinals loss to the Reds. With the game already out of hand by the sixth inning, Wainwright pinch-hit for DH Luken Baker, and grounded out to second to conclude the 847th plate appearance of his career.
There was a loose plan in place to give Wainwright at least one PA during the final series of his career, though with the Reds still alive in the playoff race, the Cardinals weren’t going to do anything to do impact the integrity of the game just for the sake of a ceremonial at-bat. However, the lopsided score Friday provided an opportunity for Wainwright to hit for what will likely be the final time, barring another blowout result in the next two games or if the Reds are officially eliminated from contention. Wainwright has a .194/.221/.293 slash line and 10 homers during his career.
More from the NL Central…
- The Cubs activated Adbert Alzolay from the 15-day injured list yesterday, as the closer was able to return a little less than three weeks after suffering a right forearm strain. Alzolay threw a scoreless inning of relief in Friday’s 4-3 extra-innings loss to the Brewers, which dropped Chicago 1.5 games behind the Marlins for the final NL wild card berth. The Cubs are now 6-14 in their last 20 games, and with several bullpen meltdowns contributing to that poor record, it isn’t a stretch to say that the loss of Alzolay (as well as a few other reliever injuries) might end up costing Chicago a playoff berth. The injury news got worse for the Cubs yesterday when second baseman Nico Hoerner had to make an early exit due to a bruised knee, after fouling a ball off the inside of his knee during a sixth-inning plate appearances. X-rays were negative on Hoerner, though it remains to be seen if he’ll be ready to play during a must-win game for the Cubs today.
- The Reds placed right-hander Daniel Duarte on the 15-day injured list yesterday (retroactive to September 28) due to tightness in his throwing shoulder. Righty Carson Spiers was called up from Triple-A in the corresponding move. The injury will conclude Duarte’s rookie season with 31 2/3 innings and a 3.69 ERA working out of the Reds’ bullpen, though Duarte was perhaps fortunate to post such a respectable ERA given that his walks (20) almost matched his strikeout total (23). Duarte made his MLB debut with three games for Cincinnati in 2022 but spent most of the season on the injured list with elbow problems. He made it back for a full and relatively healthy season in advance of his new shoulder issue, and Duarte’s 31 2/3 frames came in between several options up and down from Triple-A.