Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/8/13
The Cardinals played their first September/October home game with first place at stake to the winner since 2001 when Houston and the Cardinals were fighting for the division lead on the last weekend of the season here with both winding up in the playoffs. If it was to be the Cardinals’ biggest game of the season to date Saturday night before a sold-out house of 45110 at Busch Stadium their top starting pitcher Adam Wainwright would have to be at his best after being at his admitted worst in his two previous outings. Wainwright stared this challenge in the eye. Winning his 16th Wainwright blanked Pittsburgh on two hits for seven innings and the Cardinals moved back into first place in the National League Central Division for the first time this month with a 5-0 win over the Pirates who slipped one-half game behind the Cardinals. Hard-charging Cincinnati winner of five of its last six games stands third just 1½ games off the Cardinals’ pace. David Freese his power stroke warming hit his second homer in his last three games a 425-foot blast to center and drove in another with a sacrifice fly. Yadier Molina who homered in his final at-bat on Friday after picking himself out of the dirt doubled twice and scored two runs. Trevor Rosenthal Seth Maness and Randy Choate finished off the Pirates after Wainwright had been pulled following his 100th pitch. In his previous victory on Aug. 23 Wainwright had thrown a season-high 128 pitches in a complete-game win against Atlanta. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had said before the game that hitting coach John Mabry and several Cardinals pitchers notably injured ace Chris Carpenter had detected that Wainwright might have been “tipping” his pitches in the back-to-back drubbings by the Reds who scored 15 runs in eight innings against Wainwright. The signature Wainwright breaking ball was in clear view unlike some recent games. “You could see at times his breaking ball just didn’t have the bite” said Matheny. “It was sharp right from the second pitch he threw.” But Wainwright also featured and located his fastball cutter and changeup. “He had it all today” said Matheny. Wainwright was disturbed by his last two outings but not as disturbed apparently as some of the folks who posted messages he allowed himself to read one day on social media. “Mild panic” was the tenor of the postings said Wainwright. Wainwright said he ran harder lifted harder and studied film harder in the past five days. “Between the last start and this start I did everything imaginable to be ready for this day” he said. That included firing up the computer. “I looked at a few message boards” he said. “I wanted to see what fan reaction was what media reaction was. And then I didn’t open the computer to look at that stuff again. I just used it motivationally.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Donald Trump: I told Tom Brady not to endorse me for President

Marshawn Lynch: Complicated and talented NFL anti-hero

Hue Jackson lets Manziel and ex know they aren’t alone

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

Tyronn Lue faces backlash for Cavs record since Blatt’s firing

Report: LeSean McCoy assaulted off duty Philly police officers


John Elway was right, the Broncos didn’t need a Plan B

Canadiens and Sharks starting to gauge trade market

Danny Trevathan: Broncos defense better than ’85 Bears

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

Top defensive performances in Super Bowl history

FBI questions Jeremy Shockey about drug and gambling ring

Coldplay drummer thought Johnny Football was real name

Ranking every game from 2015 NFL Playoffs

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker