Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/19/12
ST. LOUIS Adam Wainwright didn't expect to be pitching Thursday night. By this point he figured to be back home in Georgia, ready to start his offseason much earlier than he had hoped. Wainwright was at home Thursday. He was at home on the Busch Stadium mound, doing what he does best. Thanks to a historic comeback to bail him out after a disastrous Game 5 start against the Washington Nationals last week, Wainwright got an unexpected chance to pitch again. And boy, did he take advantage of it. The right-hander allowed just one run and four hits in seven strong innings to help the Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 8-3. The win moved the Cardinals to within one win of a return trip to the World Series. "It was very satisfying," Wainwright said. "A little part of me wanted to reprove it to myself that I could go out there and pitch great when we need me to. I knew I could. I was just very confident in my ability and my stuff. I just needed to trust it and go out there and make pitches and tonight I was able to execute." Wainwright was on from the start, retiring the Giants in order in the top of the first before his offense gave him a nice 2-0 lead in the bottom of the inning. And that was all the run support he needed. The former 20-game winner allowed only a long solo home run to Hunter Pence in the second inning, retiring 16 of the first 18 hitters he faced. He was in total control all night, feeding off the energy of a pumped playoff atmosphere at Busch Stadium. His only real jam came in the sixth, when the Giants brought the tying run to the plate with one out for their two best hitters. But he got Buster Posey to fly to right and Pablo Sandoval to ground out to second to end the threat. "He did everything we could have asked from him today," said manager Mike Matheny. "I thought he was as sharp as we've seen him in a while. "He established his fastball and his curveball is as good as I've seen it. It was one of those times when a guy who's a leader on your team has that opportunity to step up and do something big. And he did it." Wainwright was on the mound when the Cardinals won the World Series in 2006. He's pitched very well in his career in the playoffs and allowed just one run in 5 23 innings in a Game 1 start to the Nationals. But in a game that he was seemingly born to pitch in, Wainwright admittedly choked last week in Washington. He had nothing. Three batters into the game, the Nationals led 3-0. Wainwright gave up three home runs and six runs in just 2 13 innings, leaving with the Cardinals trailing 6-0. But thanks to the greatest comeback in a deciding game in postseason history, the Cardinals gave their ace a chance to make good. He did just that, becoming just the second Cardinals starter to finish seven innings this postseason. He looked like his vintage self, not the one who has surpassed 200 innings in his first season since having Tommy John surgery. "I don't think any of us were surprised," Matheny said. "He was barely getting off the mound in Washington, telling everybody to pick him up and keep us right there. He wanted another chance to pitch and I think we all knew we'd see something pretty special if he did get that opportunity. That's just his makeup." Wainwright sat and watched last season as his teammates completed an improbable run by beating the Texas Rangers and winning the World Series. Now he's a part of the action and hopes to have a say in helping them defend their title. His next start could come Wednesday in Game 1 of the World Series should his teammates finish off the Giants with a win in one of the next three games. And if that happens, expect Wainwright to continue taking advantage of an opportunity he didn't expect to have.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NFL shows off every Super Bowl MVP in history

Jordan Norwood breaks off longest punt return in Super Bowl history

Beer company trolls Seth Rogan after Super Bowl commercial

Levi's Stadium's field problems continue in Super Bowl

Kevin Durant credentialed photographer for Super Bowl

Brady would be 'very jealous' if Manning wins Super Bowl


John Elway takes swipe at John Fox

Jets DT: I won't watch a Super Bowl 'until I play in one'

Hall of Fame coach: Stephen Curry is the best of all time

Reggie Bush on NFL future: ‘I’m not retiring’

Derek Fisher blasts Rondo over triangle offense criticism

Report: Marshawn Lynch hasn't spent any playing money

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

Ted Ginn Jr. whiffs on football twice on one play, results in Panthers turnover

Kony Ealy makes one-handed interception of Peyton Manning

Mike Carey gets another call wrong on incomplete pass in SB

Steph Curry beats Panthers' "Keep Pounding" drum

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

WATCH: Panthers' Jonathan Stewart leaps over pile for TD

Aqib Talib commits three awful penatlies in first half of SB

WATCH: Broncos score TD after Von Millers sacks Cam Newton

WATCH: Luke Kuechly sacks Peyton Manning

WATCH: Lady Gaga goes over on National Anthem betting

WATCH: Tom Brady booed during Super Bowl 50 MVP ceremony

Cam Newton's cleats have 'MVP' and stats written on them

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

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

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

The top six matchups that could decide Super Bowl 50

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

10 underrated performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker