|St. Louis Cardinals — No. 50|
August 30, 1981
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|September 11, 2005 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
(through October 2, 2009)
|Earned run average||3.17|
|Career highlights and awards|
A highly valued prospect coming out of Glynn Academy, Wainwright planned to play college baseball for Georgia Tech, signing a letter of intent with the Yellow Jackets. But, when he was selected 29th overall in the first round of the 2000 amateur draft by his favorite team, the Atlanta Braves, Wainwright chose to forgo college and go straight to the pros, signing a contract with the Braves that included a $1.25 million bonus.
In December 2003, Wainwright was sent to the Cardinals along with pitchers Jason Marquis and Ray King in a trade that sent outfielder J. D. Drew and utility man Eli Marrero to the Atlanta Braves. After two somewhat uneven seasons in the Cardinals' minor-league system, Wainwright made his MLB debut for St. Louis on September 11, 2005.
Wainwright made the Cardinals' Opening Day roster as a relief pitcher after having been a starter for his entire minor-league career. On May 24, 2006, in his first career at bat, Wainwright hit a home run against Noah Lowry of the San Francisco Giants; he became the 22nd batter in Major League history to hit a home run off his first pitch thrown in his first at-bat, and the 11th National Leaguer.
Wainwright pitched capably as a middle reliever, but when Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen underwent season-ending hip surgery in September, Wainwright was pressed into service as the closer. He saved two crucial games on Sept. 27 and Sept. 30 as St. Louis held off a late charge by Houston and won the NL Central Division championship.
The Cardinals, who made the postseason despite an unexceptional 83-79 record, rolled through October to win their 10th world championship in franchise history. Wainwright, the new closer, took center stage:
Wainwright moved from the bullpen to the starting rotation for 2007. With Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter lost for the year due to elbow surgery, Wainwright emerged as the most reliable Cardinals starter. On August 10, he threw the first complete game of his career in a 2-1 loss to Los Angeles. (It would be the only nine-inning complete game for the Cardinals in all of 2007). By September he had established himself as the staff ace in the absence of Chris Carpenter, going 9-6 with a 2.94 ERA since mid-May. Wainwright finished his first year as a starter by leading the Cardinals in almost every pitching category—games started, innings pitched, strikeouts, and wins—and compiling a 3.70 ERA and a 14-12 record.
In March 2008, Wainwright passed on free agency, signing a four-year deal with the Cardinals worth $21 million, with two club options for 2012 and 2013 that could push the value of the deal to $36 million. He suffered a finger injury in June that caused him to miss 2 1/2 months of the season but still finished 11-3 with a 3.20 ERA, easily the best in the Cardinal rotation.
On 08/19/2009, at Dodger Stadium, Adam had a no hitter going vs.
the Los Angeles Dodgers for 5 1/3 innings before it was broke up by
Orlando Hudson with a clean single to left field.
He pitched the NL Central Division clinching game-winner against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field, 6-3, on September 26, going 8 innings, walking one, striking out 11 and giving up just two earned runs while pitching out of an eighth-inning jam for his ML-leading 19th win.
Wainwright also was a top contender for Cy Young with teammate Chris Carpenter and eventual winner Tim Lincecum. He became only the second pitcher (Trevor Hoffman being the first) ever to get the most first place votes and not win the award.
Adam Wainwright is a practicing Christian. In the off-season, he resides on St. Simons, Georgia, with his wife Jenny and their 2 daughters, Baylie Grace, born September 10, 2006, and Morgan Addison, born October 22, 2008