Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/23/13
It all started on September 24 when Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha took the hill against the Nationals for his last regular season start of 2013.  No one could have expected the lanky 22 year-old from Texas to make history that night, but he nearly did by taking a no-hitter into the ninth. That spectacular start probably secured his spot on the Cardinals’ postseason rotation, although he did not start again for almost two weeks when the Cardinals asked him to shutdown the Pirates on the road in a must-win NLDS Game 4.  Despite the layoff, Wacha was equally as brilliant that night when he took a no-hitter into the seventh and kept the Cardinals alive.  Wacha has only made four starts in the last month, but he is on what amounts to a pitching hot streak, and considering the high stakes it is one for the ages. In his last 29.2 innings Michael Wacha has allowed only one run, a solo homer from Cardinals terrorist Pedro Alvarez in PNC Park.  In his last four starts, including that last one from the regular season, Wacha has allowed a total of 15 hitters to reach base and has struck out 31.  He won the NLCS MVP because he did not allow a single run in either of his two starts.  The amazing thing is that some of those stats might not do justice to how well he has played lately.  The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw was the opposing pitcher in each of Wacha’s last two starts, and the Cardinals were able to win each because Wacha matched zeroes with Kershaw until the Dodgers’ ace blinked first. As a rookie, some of Wacha’s success must be due to opposing teams being unfamiliar with him.  But the Pirates had seen Wacha twice (once in a relief appearance) before the playoff game and the Dodgers obviously got a second chance against him in the NLCS and still could not find a way to score.  That is a scary thought for the Red Sox who obviously have never faced Wacha, scheduled to start Game 2 of the World Series Thursday. Wacha has shown incredible poise during this postseason run, perhaps best exemplified by the sixth inning of Game 2 against the Dodgers.  Nursing a 1-0 lead, Wacha made one of his few mistakes by allowing Kershaw to single to lead off the inning.  Then the speedy Carl Crawford reached on an infield single when Matt Carpenter made a throwing error, allowing the runners to advance to second and third.  With still no outs, Wacha got Mark Ellis to pop up and then intentionally walked Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases.  Wacha got out of the jam by striking out Yasiel Puig and Juan Uribe back to back, preserving the lead in a pressure packed situation. According to baseball-reference.com, Wacha’s .571 WHIP (Walks and Hits per Inning Pitched) this postseason is the sixth lowest of any pitcher’s single postseason in history.  Some of the names ahead of him on that list are Justin Verlander, Christy Mathewson, and Mariano Rivera.  Wacha is the first rookie to win a League Championship Series MVP since Marlins pitcher Livan Hernandez in 1997.  Wacha has reached rarified air, and now the question is how long he can keep it rolling as the pressure continues to mount.  This streak of his has been unbelievable and without him the Cardinals would not be still standing.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl


Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

Michael Jordan’s rep comments on the crying meme

MLB 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

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

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

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker