This is the Adam Wainwright the St. Louis Cardinals think is worth $97.5 million for the next five years.
In his second season after Tommy John surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament, Wainwright has returned to the Cy Young award-caliber pitcher he was before the injury.
He simply dominated the Washington Nationals on Tuesday and now has a 4-1 record and a 1.93 earned-run average with 37 strikeouts against one walk in five starts. He’s established himself once again as the Cardinals’ ace, and that’s a huge relief for everybody involved.
Wainwright had put together a 64-34 record with a 2.99 earned-run average in four seasons as a starter before he suffered the elbow injury at the beginning of spring training in 2011. He also possessed a fastball that reached 96 mph and one of the most devastating curveballs in Major League Baseball.
But that was gone for much of 2012. Wainwright had a winning record, 14-13, but he also had the highest ERA of his career, 3.94, and rarely had the do...