|St. Louis Cardinals – No. 50|
August 30, 1981 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 11, 2005 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through May 16, 2013)
|Earned run average||3.12|
|Career highlights and awards|
Adam Parrish Wainwright (born August 30, 1981) is a right-handed starting pitcher in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was drafted 29th overall by the Atlanta Braves in the 2000 amateur draft. He made his major league debut for the St. Louis Cardinals on September 11, 2005 against the New York Mets.
Early career 
When he was selected 29th overall in the first round of the 2000 amateur draft by his favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, Wainwright chose to forgo college and go straight to the pros, signing a contract with the Braves that included a $1.25 million bonus. Less than two weeks after high school graduation Wainwright was off to the Braves rookie team, and soon advanced to Atlanta's Class A Danville Braves in the Appalachian League. He pitched for the Macon Braves in the South Atlantic League in 2001 where he broke the team record for strikeouts, previously held by Bruce Chen, with 184. Wainwright spent the 2002 season in the Carolina League and also participated in that seasons All-Star Futures Game. In 2003 Wainwright advanced to the Brave's Double-A Greenville.
In December 2003, Wainwright was sent to the Cardinals along with pitchers Jason Marquis and Ray King in a trade that sent outfielder J. D. Drew and utility man Eli Marrero to the Atlanta Braves. After two somewhat uneven seasons in the Cardinals' minor-league system, Wainwright made his MLB debut for St. Louis on September 11, 2005.
Major League career 
Wainwright made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster as a relief pitcher after having been a starter for his entire minor-league career. On May 24, 2006, in his first career at bat, Wainwright hit a home run against Noah Lowry of the San Francisco Giants; he became the 22nd batter in Major League history to hit a home run off his first pitch thrown in his first at-bat, and the 11th National Leaguer.
Wainwright pitched capably as a middle reliever, but when Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen underwent season-ending hip surgery in September, Wainwright was pressed into service as the closer. He saved two crucial games on September 27 and September 30 as St. Louis held off a late charge by Houston and won the NL Central Division championship.
The Cardinals, who made the postseason despite an unexceptional 83–78 record, rolled through October to win their 10th world championship in franchise history. Wainwright, the new closer, took center stage:
- On October 8, 2006, Wainwright closed out the final game of the Cardinals' National League Division Series, ending the San Diego Padres' season and propelling the Cardinals to the 2006 National League Championship Series.
- On October 19, 2006, in the final game of the National League Championship Series, Wainwright, with the bases loaded, struck out Carlos Beltrán looking on a curveball, ending the New York Mets' season and sending the Cardinals to the World Series.
- On October 27, 2006, in Game 5 of the 2006 World Series, Wainwright struck out Detroit Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge with a slider to win the world championship.
Wainwright moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation for 2007. With Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter lost for the year due to elbow surgery, Wainwright emerged as the most reliable Cardinals starter. On August 10, he threw the first complete game of his career in a 2–1 loss to Los Angeles. (It would be the only nine-inning complete game for the Cardinals in all of 2007). By September he had established himself as the staff ace in the absence of Chris Carpenter, going 9–6 with a 2.94 ERA since mid-May. Wainwright finished his first year as a starter by leading the Cardinals in almost every pitching category—games started, innings pitched, strikeouts, and wins—and compiling a 3.70 ERA and a 14–12 record.
In March 2008, Wainwright signed a four-year deal with the Cardinals worth $21 million, with two club options for 2012 and 2013 that could push the value of the deal to $36 million. He suffered a finger injury in June that caused him to miss 2½ months of the season but still finished 11–3 with a 3.20 ERA, easily the best in the Cardinal rotation.
On August 19, 2009, at Dodger Stadium, Wainwright had a no hitter going vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers for 5⅓ innings before it was broken up by Orlando Hudson with a clean single to left field.
He pitched the NL Central Division clinching game-winner against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, 6–3, on September 26, going 8 innings, walking one, striking out 11 and giving up just two earned runs while pitching out of an eighth-inning jam for his ML-leading 19th win.
Finishing the season with a 19-8 record and a 2.63 ERA and leading the National League in wins, games started, and innings pitched, Wainwright was a top contender for the Cy Young with teammate Chris Carpenter and eventual winner Tim Lincecum. He became only the second pitcher (Trevor Hoffman being the first) ever to get the most first place votes and not win the award.
He finished the season 20–11 with a 2.42 ERA, 5 complete games, 213 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.05, all a career best. His 20 wins and 2.42 ERA were both good for second place in the National League (only Josh Johnson had a better ERA, while Roy Halladay had 21 wins). He also pitched two shutouts this season, the first two of his career. His first was against the Brewers on June 4 and the other against the Marlins on August 6.
Wainwright pitched in his first All Star Game. He faced 5 batters, throwing 17 pitches, 10 strikes and 7 balls. He allowed no runs, while giving up 1 hit, a double off the glove of fellow Cardinal's teammate Matt Holliday, and had 1 walk with 2 strikeouts.
Wainwright was the runner-up for the 2010 NL Cy Young Award, finishing second in voting behind unanimous winner Roy Halladay.
On February 24, the Cardinals announced that Wainwright would be out the entire 2011 season after undergoing necessary Tommy John surgery on his right elbow after indicating discomfort in pitching batting practice on February 21. The procedure was be done by George Paletta, the Cardinals' physician. He would miss all of 2011 and possibly the first few months of the 2012 season because recovery time is usually 12 to 15 months. His 2012 and 2013 options totaling $21 million will not automatically vest if he is on the disabled list at the end of the 2011 season.
The Feb. 28 surgery in St. Louis was described as "successful". Paletta performed the same surgery on Chris Carpenter, Jaime García, Kyle McClellan and others. Wainwright will remain in St. Louis for two weeks before joining his teammates in Florida. The typical rehabilitation time for a starting pitcher is approximately 12 to 15 months.
2012 was overall a disappointing season for Wainwright, seeing him go 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA. On May 22, he threw his first complete game shutout since August 6, 2010 and the third of his career in his ninth complete game. It was a 4-hit, 4-0 win at home against the San Diego Padres, striking out nine and walking only one.
On March 28, 2013 it was announced that Wainwright had agreed to a five-year contract extension with the Cardinals. He is already under contract for the 2013 season so the new deal will be in effect starting in 2014. The extension, reported by multiple media sources as being for $97.5 million dollars, is the largest contract ever offered to a pitcher by the Cardinals.
On April 18, he became the first pitcher in baseball since 1900, to have 28 strikeouts and 0 walks in his first four starts of a season. He has pitched 29 innings (facing 113 batters), the longest stretch without giving up a walk starting a season for a Cardinals' pitcher since Pea Ridge Day had 29 2⁄3 innings without a walk in 1925.   The record for a Cardinals' pitcher from the start of a season is held by Slim Sallee who pitched 40 consecutive walk-free innings in 1913.  His streak ended in the next start at Washington on April 23, after pitching 5 2⁄3 innings, giving him 34 2⁄3 consecutive innings and facing 133 batters before giving up a walk. 
Pitching style 
Wainwright is a sinkerballer, throwing it in the 90-92 mph range. He also throws a good deal of cutters (85–88) and curveballs (72–76). Less commonly, he also throws a four-seam fastball (90–93) and changeup (83–86). He uses all of his pitches against left-handed hitters, but he does not use the changeup against right-handers. Wainwright's most-used pitch in 2-strike counts is his curveball.
In spring training of 2013, he started incorporating an elevated four-seam fastball, making his curveball more effective. 
Personal life 
Early years 
Adam Parrish Wainwright was born in Brunswick, Georgia to parents Bill and Nancy Wainwright. His parents divorced when he was seven years old, leaving Adam and his older brother Trey, now an Atlanta, Georgia attorney, to be raised in a single-parent household by their mother Nancy, a real estate agent. Wainwright's father moved to Florida after the divorce so Adam credits his brother Trey, seven years his senior, with teaching him everything he knows about sports, going so far as building a pitchers mound in their back yard so he could teach Adam how to pitch. As a boy, Wainwright participated in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as well as numerous church activities. He also grew up a huge fan of the Atlanta Braves.
High school and adulthood 
Wainwright attended high school at Glynn Academy in his native Brunswick, Georgia where he was an athletic and academic standout. A multi-sport athlete, he was named to the All-State team as a receiver his junior and senior years as well as All-Region honors as a placekicker. With a fastball over 90 mph and batting average at times over .500 his future would lie in baseball, however, and Wainwright was named Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year in 2000. He garnered considerable interest from colleges and universities offering both academic and baseball scholarships, including Georgia Tech. However when he was the first pick of his childhood idols, the Braves, in the 2000 MLB Draft, he Wainwright decided to forego college.
Wainwright married his high school sweetheart, Jenny Curry, in 2004. In a quirk of fate, he was in the midst of proposing to Jenny in December, 2003, when he was interrupted by a telephone call informing him he'd been traded from the Braves to the Cardinals. Mrs. Wainwright holds a degree in Interior Design from Georgia Southern University. In the off-season, the Wainwrights reside on St. Simons Island, Georgia, with their three daughters, Baylie Grace, born September 10, 2006, Morgan Addison, born October 22, 2008, and Macy, born in November, 2011. Wainwright has also openly expressed his Christian faith, and is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
See also 
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- List of players with a home run in first major league at-bat
- "Adam Wainwright biography". Jock Bio.com website. 2006. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- "Home Run With First Pitch Ever". Baseball Almanac. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- Leach, Matthew (2008-03-20). "Wainwright signs long-term deal Cardinals right-hander agrees to four-year contract". MLB.com. Retrieved 2008-11-29.
- "Gutty Wainwright leads Cards to clinch: Righty tosses eight solid innings; LaRue hits go-ahead blast". MLB.com. 2009-09-27.
- "Wainwright wins Outstanding Pitcher award from peers". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 2009-10-28.
- "Adam Wainwright Stats". Mlb.com. 2013-02-03.
- Haft, Chris (November 19, 2009). "Lincecum's the one; that makes two Cys". MLB.com. Retrieved January 22, 2011. "Wainwright became only the second pitcher to garner the most first-place votes and not win the award. In 1998, Atlanta's Tom Glavine collected 11 first-place votes to 13 for San Diego's Trevor Hoffman but amassed the most points, 98–88, and took home the trophy."
- "Molina, Wainwright nab Gold Gloves: Back-to-back awards for Cards catcher; hurler wins first". MLB.com. 2009-11-11.
- Adam Wainwright MLB.com
- NL 3, AL 1 MLB.com
- "Wainwright second to Halladay on Cy ballot". MLB.com. 2010-11-16.
- Wainwright set for Tommy John surgery, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (February 24, 2011)
- Earlier: Cards, Wainwright 'prepare for the worst', St. Louis Post-Dispatch (February 24, 2011)
- Cards GM: Wainwright needs Tommy John, MLB.com (February 24, 2011)
- Wainwright surgery deemed a success, MLB.com (February 28, 2011)
- Wainwright throws first shutout since 2010, MLB.com (May 23, 2012)
- Active Leaders & Records for Adjusted ERA+, Baseball-reference.com
- Career Leaders & Records for Adjusted ERA+, Baseball-reference.com
- Langosch, Jenifer (28 March 2013). "Wainwright, Cardinals agree on five-year extension". MLB.com via St. Louis Cardinals official website. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
- "Goold: Meet Pea Ridge Day, the Cardinals' hog-calling pitcher". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 23, 2013.
- "Cards Notebook: Molina rests; Waino makes history". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. April 20, 2013.
- "Wainwright still hasn't issued a walk". MLB.com. April 19, 2013.
- "Wainwright dominates as Cards blank Nats". MLB.com. April 23, 2013.
- "Active Leaders & Records for Adjusted ERA+". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "PITCHf/x Player Card: Adam Wainwright". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- Darnall, Mark (14 February 2011). "Cardinals Right-Hander is Thriving in his work and calling". Athletes in Action website. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
- The Official Site of The St. Louis Cardinals: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
- Sharing the Victory Magazine – vsItemDisplay
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- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Wainwright player profile page at stlcardinals.scout.com