Schimpf’s fly ball pace appears to be unsustainable, but that’s based solely on the fact that we’ve never seen it before. He only swings at around 20 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, which falls well under the major league average of around 30 percent. The ability to wait for good pitches helps his cause quite a bit, ensuring that he’ll continue to get them — and inevitably hit them in the air.
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So it’s OK if you didn’t see this coming from Adam Wainwright.
You’re not the only one, and the right-hander welcomes the challenge of proving you wrong.
No matter how many times I’m sick and tired of hearing, ‘He’s not what he once was,’ I’ve got to prove it,Wainwright told reporters after blanking Colorado for seven innings — in Colorado, mind you — on May 27 (via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). You can say it all day long but unless you go out and prove it then it doesn’t really matter, does it? I’m working on it. Working on it. Working on shutting those people up.
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Four starts is a pretty small sample size, of course, but Wainwright has been pretty brilliant in those four starts, folks: 0.34 ERA, 26 1/3 innings, 16 hits, 21 strikeouts. He’s faced 103 batters in this stretch, allowing just 12 singles and four doubles (no homers or triples).
Wainwright shut out the Cubs for seven innings on May 14 to start this run. Then he gave up one run in 6 1/3 against the Giants on May 21. Then came the seven-inning gem in Coors Field against the Rockies on May 27. And Thursday at home, he threw six more shutout innings, against the Dodgers (he also hit a two-run home run in a game the Cardinals won, 2-0). He didn’t just shut down also-rans; three of those teams have legit postseason hopes.
Let’s look at the difference between Wainwright’s first seven starts and his past four starts.