ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny says rumors that Adam Wainwright is hurt are overblown.
Matheny is sticking with the same rotation that clicked in the first round, and Wainwright, the 20-game winner, is set to pitch Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the San Francisco Giants. Matheny announced the starters on Thursday, two days ahead of the series opener.
Matheny said before the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS Game 4 clincher that Lance Lynn was available on regular rest if Wainwright couldn’t go.
“I think there were some things taken out of context and blown up probably more than they needed to be when it was a statement of basically the obvious ... in case something didn’t look right, feel right,” Matheny said. “He’s fine and we’ll just watch him closely like we watch everybody else.”
Lynn will work Game 2, followed by John Lackey and Shelby Miller. Michael Wacha, who didn’t pitch in the Division Series, will remain a long-relief option out of the bullpen.
Wainwright had a rough start in Game 1 of the Division Series, allowing six runs on 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings. His velocity was down and he seemed to be emphasizing his curveball more than usual.
Matheny said it was “stating the obvious, too, that Waino was struggling to find a good feel in Game 1.”
“But that’s happened at different times throughout our season and he’s been able to bounce back and figure it out and make it work,” Matheny said. “Not just make it work but being the lead pitcher.”