Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/12/12

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa (R) congratulates starting pitcher Adam Wainwright after Wainwright finished the eighth inning, shutting out the Houston Astros at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 25, 2009. St. Louis won the game 1-0. UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom

Getty Images

There wasn't much Adam Wainwright could do this time last year when he watched painfully as his teammates won four elimination games en route to winning the World Series in a thrilling Game 7 win over the Texas Rangers. Out for the season due to Tommy John surgery, the ultra-competitive Wainwright was relegated to cheerleader duty during the Cardinals magical run last season. The wait will be worth it come 7:37 p.m. CT Friday night. Wainwright, who closed out the Cardinals World Series win as a rookie closer in 2006, will make the start he's always dreamed of. The right-hander will take the ball in the winner-take-all Game 5 against Nationals ace Gio Gonzalez, hoping to do what he didn't have the chance to do a season ago: pitch the Cardinals deeper into the postseason. "Of course I wish we would have won (Thursday), but you know what? This is every pitcher's dream, I would say," Wainwright told reporters after Thursday's loss. "Every competitor's dream is to go in huge moments like that, so I look forward to the challenge." "The postseason is so special anyway. This team has battled through so much this year and fought so hard to get where we are and just to be in the postseason again, it really can't be underspoken how special that is to our team and me in general. I feel very blessed that I get to go out and compete." Wainwright is no stranger to pitching in big spots late in October. The right-hander struck out Carlos Beltran with the bases loaded to end the 2006 NLCS and send the Cardinals to the World Series in a thrilling Game 7 win over the New York Mets. He then closed out the World Series with a strikeout of Brandon Inge a week later. The right-hander went 14-13 with a 3.94 ERA in 32 starts during the regular season. He started Game 1 against the Nationals Sunday and allowed just one earned run and six hits and had 10 strikeouts in 5 23 innings. Wainwright started Game 2 in the 2009 Division Series and allowed just three hits and one earned run in eight innings. He's got a 1.59 ERA in 11 career postseason games, proving that he's up to the challenge of pitching on baseball's biggest stage. And the stakes will be even bigger come Friday night. Which is just the way he likes it. "I can look at big moments I've been in before and build off that and dig deep and think about moments I've been in before," Wainwright said. "But if you get caught up thinking about too much in the past, you're not living in the now enough. I'll be ready for tomorrow. "This place gets pretty loud. That eruption that happened at the end of the game, that was pretty loud, one of the loudest I've heard. I expect their crowd to be out here in full force and luckily I like to hear that crowd too. The louder the better." Reminded that Shea Stadium was pretty loud during his appearance in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, Wainwright joked, "Yea it was. For a minute." Wainwright and the Cardinals hope to silence the crowd again Friday and live to fight another day. And he couldn't be more ready to finally get his chance. ----- The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Majority of FIFA sponsors demanding independent review on reforms

Zack Greinke expected to choose between Dodgers, Giants by end of week

Reports: David Price, Red Sox agree to seven-year, $217 million contract

LSU officials’ media leaks about Les Miles blew up in their faces

Sam Bradford returns to practice, but does it matter for broken Eagles?

Cam Newton won’t be ‘lured in’ by talk of undefeated season


Report: Miami job is Mark Richt’s 'if he wants it'

WATCH: Cowboys’ security guard being investigated for choking Panthers fan

Mariners ‘trying hard’ to trade Mark Trumbo before Wednesday’s tender deadline

Bill Belichick: Patriots always looking to improve win or lose

NFL: Refs did not blow calls on Ravens' blocked FG return

Roethlisberger: I’ll play through any injury but a brain injury

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz named Big Ten Coach Of The Year

Mid-American Conference Championship preview

Lakers trying to decide which Kobe Bryant jersey number to retire

Matthew Dellavedova is becoming a better passer

Ryan Kesler says the Ducks are 'too good not to be in the playoffs'

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

WATCH: LSU releases video to honor Leonard Fournette

Report: Jim Hackett’s tenure as Michigan’s interim AD is ending

Josh Norman pretends to be a movie character each game

Ex-Giants OL Chris Snee 'wanted to see the Jets lose all the time'

Kyle Long gives Bears tickets to trash collector who found wallet

Last of a dying breed: Kobe's retirement marks end of an era

Are the Houston Rockets looking to trade Ty Lawson?

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

MAC Championship preview

Tiger Woods’ career inches closer to an end after gloomy injury update

QUIZ: Name every NCAA football national champion since 1950

Browns lose to Ravens as only the Browns know how

NCAA figures out how to invite 5-7 teams to bowls

Ranking top Heisman Trophy candidates

Have the New Orleans Saints given up?

This weekend in NFL stupid, ft. Rex Ryan

Missouri won’t accept a bowl bid at 5-7

Durant blasts media on behalf of Kobe

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker