ST. LOUIS Michael Wacha's face twisted up like his words tasted sour. The rookie right-hander hadn't been hit this hard since, well, he couldn't really seem to remember off the top of his head.
"It's been a while," he said. "It's going to happen, I guess, sooner or later. I've got stuff to work on, like I said."
This did have to happen at some point, didn't it? The 21-year-old who made the path to the Major Leagues look like a cakewalk would eventually stumble, or struggle, or give some sign this professional baseball thing really isn't as easy as he's been making it seem.
It didn't happen in his first start, the wacky and rain-soaked event that slogged through five and a half hours of delays before it ended in a Cardinals' loss. Wacha received a no-decision, but it should have been a win. His performance seven innings pitched, two hits, one run and six strikeouts was excellent.
And in the earliest stages of his second start, which came against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tues...