This is The Waino The Cardinals Want in Wrigley

The Cardinals could desperately use the same Wainwright they've seen in his last two appearances.

September 28, 2018 - 8:15 am

Adam Wainwright delivered a pretty straight-forward message after Wednesday night's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. 

"There's two ways to go," Wainwright said. "You can quit, you can lay down and get ready for the offseason. Or you can show up with your hair on fire and ready to play a baseball game. 

"It will start on Friday and we'll see what happens. But we're gonna be ready to play. I can promise you I'll be ready to pitch." 

Thankfully for St. Louis, that's a promise Wainwright has been able to keep in a large majority of his starts at Wrigley Field. As our Tom Ackerman pointed out in his column yesterday, the 37-year-old right hander is 11-2 in his 19 career starts in the Chicago Cubs home stadium. That's the most victories at any MLB field besides Busch Stadium for Wainwright. 

The Cardinals could desperately use the same Wainwright they've seen in his last two appearances. On September 16 against the Dodgers and September 22 versus Giants, he has a combined 2.92 ERA in 12 innings, walking three and striking out 15. And in his last three starts the Cardinals are 3-0. 

Related story: Wainwright Believes Baseball Does Not Need to be Changed

Besides playoffs being on the line, the biggest story line of this game is the possibility that it will be Waino's last in a Cardinals uniform or the last in his career. It's the final year of his contract and the 13-year veteran has expressed the desire to end his playing days in a Cardinals uniform, completing the rare task of playing his entire MLB career in one organization.

Win or lose, he's not likely to answer those questions about his offseason plans because St. Louis can't be mathematically eliminated from postseason play until Saturday night. Wainwright won't put himself above this team, as long as they have a chance.

Looking at the NL standings, St. Louis is one game behind the Dodgers for the second Wild Card spot. So if the Cardinals can sweep the Cubs, the Dodgers still need to lose at lease one game to the Giants to end the year in a tie – that tie-breaker game would be played at Busch Stadium since St. Louis has the edge in this year's head-to-head against LA. 

Although Chicago has already clinched the postseason, they're still fighting off the Brewers for the NL Central Championship, so don't expect to see a B-team lineup from the Cubs.

First pitch today is at 1:20 from Wrigley, pregame coverage begins at 12:25 p.m. on KMOX 1120.