Can Adam Wainwright Exceed His 2009 Performance?

Cole ClaybournCorrespondent IApril 7, 2010

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 6:  Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates during Opening Day on April 6, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Pirates beat the Cardinals 6-4. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Adam Wainwright is coming off a season where he posted career bests in wins, earned run average, strikeouts, games started, and innings pitched.

The scary thing for opponents is that Wainwright didn’t just beat his career bests last season—he shattered them.

His previous best in wins, 14, was replaced with a National League leading 19; his best ERA, 3.12, was replaced by a 2.60 ERA; his career best strikeout total of 136 was upped to 212, and his previous career high of 202 innings pitched was increased to 233, which was also tops in the NL.

And despite leading the NL in two categories and receiving the most first place votes, Wainwright still finished third behind San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and teammate Chris Carpenter in the Cy Young voting.

But come Wednesday, those stats will all be distant memories as Wainwright begins another run at a double digit win season and a potential Cy Young Award.

Right now, all signs are showing that achieving those goals is more than possible for Wainwright. He’s just 28-years-old and is pitching with an even better lineup behind him than he had last season and will be coming back with a vengeance after being snubbed in the Cy Young voting.

Wainwright is also arguably the most durable starter in the majors. Aside from leading the league in innings pitched, Wainwright put together an amazing stretch of 26 straight games where he pitched six or more innings. No other pitcher in the league can boast those kinds of stats.

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Wainwright has never been plagued by injury problems like Carpenter has, so there’s no reason to believe that he won’t match, or even exceed last season’s numbers.

ESPN.com is projecting Wainwright to win 17 games and post a 3.14 ERA this season and be on the short list for the NL Cy Young Award again.

This article was originally published at RedbirdReport.com

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