Following a two-run outing on August 28 against the Atlanta Braves, it appeared that Wainwright could be on track to start Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series beginning on October 7.
However, the month of September has not been a good one for the ace.
Wainwright, who admitted that he has been dealing with a “dead arm”, has started five games in September and allowed four runs in four of them.
He’s posted a 6.26 ERA this month and allowed 17 runs in 24 innings, which could potentially put his status as a playoff starter in question.
Adam Wainwright September stats: 23 IP, 16 ER, 9 Ks, 9 BBs, HBP, 6.26 ERA/4.20 FIP/5.44 xFIP.
He also has a 2.00 WHIP. Literally has allowed two baserunners on per inning. Given his dead arm comments, this is extremely concerning
— Ghabriel (@thestlcardsfan4) September 25, 2022
Cards Face Tough Decision With Waino
Obviously, this month has been very uncharacteristic of Wainwright.
Usually, when you think of the best postseason starters in Cardinals history, Wainwright is one of the first people that comes to mind.
But given his recent trend, the Cardinals are going to have a difficult decision to make with the veteran starter come October.
He’ll start on Sunday, which will be the regular season home finale, and he’ll essentially be pitching for his spot in the postseason rotation.
Extra rest could help him, but if he has another clunker, then the Cardinals may have to do something a little bit different.
They could potentially put him in the bullpen for the playoffs and have him as a long relief option.
That’s something he’s no stranger to, having been the team’s closer during their World Series run in 2006 and being used as a reliever in 2015 after returning from an Achilles injury.
Jack Flaherty has been trending upwards since his return, so they could look to use him in their rotation.
All of Cardinal Nation wants to see Wainwright in the postseason rotation, but if he struggles again on Sunday, the Cards may have to make a tough and potentially unpopular decision.