According to SportsCenter, he's just the second rookie pitcher to earn the honor.
Cardinals P Michael Wacha is named NLCS MVP. He is only 2nd rookie pitcher to win honor (Livàn Hernandez, 1997). #WachaWachaWacha— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 19, 2013
Wacha pitched seven innings on Friday night, giving up just two hits and one walk, while striking out five.
It was his second win of the series. In Game 2, he went 6.2 innings, again surrendering zero runs on five hits, with one walk and eight strikeouts, helping the Cards win, 1-0.
What's even more impressive is the fact that he outperformed Clayton Kershaw, the likely NL Cy Young Award winner, in both starts. You could easily understand Wacha letting the pressure eat him alive. He's pitching in a decisive playoff game for his team, against arguably the best pitcher in baseball.
Instead, Wacha thrived, and a hero is born.
Fans in St. Louis will be lucky to find these shirts when the Cardinals' team store opens up tomorrow.
Wacha's rise this season has been nothing short of meteoric.
A little over a year ago, he was just getting drafted in the first round. Coincidentally, the team that picked before the Cardinals at No. 19 was the Dodgers, via ESPN.com's David Schoenfield.
Cardinals drafted Wacha with the 19th pick last year. The 18th pick belonged to the ... Dodgers.— David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) October 19, 2013
Although he appeared in 15 games during the regular season, Wacha had made just nine starts coming into the postseason. St. Louis clearly had a lot of faith in the youngster, pitting him against Kershaw right off the bat in the series. Fortunately for them, Wacha was more than up to the task.