During the fourth inning of yesterday’s game between the Cubs and Cardinals, St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright let loose a truly horrendous pitch. With two men on and one out, Wainwright spiked an 0-2 pitch into the ground, about 25 feet in front of the mound.
There was no harm done, as Wainwright went on to strike out Jake Arrieta and Albert Almora Jr. to end the inning. Still, people wanted to know what the hell was going on with that pitch, and Wainwright provided a reasonable explanation after the game. Apparently, as he was in the middle of his windup, he noticed that catcher Yadier Molina was set up to receive a curveball even though Wainwright was delivering a fastball. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“I saw him shift outside and I was looking at a different part of the plate,” Wainwright explained after the Cardinals’ 2-1 loss to the Cubs. “When I saw that, instantly – and I saw it before – I thought he was looking for a breaking ball and I had fastball grip. I did not want to throw a ball and hit him in the collarbone or something and have Yadier out. I pull-hooked it and erred on the side of not hitting him – by 20, 30 yards.”
That was some very quick thinking, and a decision Molina surely appreciates. Getting the signs crossed up with a pitcher sucks, and often results in the catcher taking a fastball straight to the face.
Or maybe the ball just slipped and Wainwright came up with an elaborate excuse, in which case we salute his bullshitting abilities.