But not for long.
"I was grinning. You can't not grin unless you're Albert Pujols and you do it every year," Wainwright said. "I knew I had to pitch, but I think it's all right to be excited about it."
Wainwright threw a five-hitter and hit a three-run double off fellow first-time All-Star Yovani Gallardo, who left in the third inning with a side injury, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Sunday.
"I think that shows you his powers of concentration," La Russa said. "That could be distracting. It's a big day, but he had a job to do and zeroed in."
Wainwright's double was the big hit in a five-run third as the Cardinals capitalized on consecutive fielding errors by shortstop Alcides Escobar. Gallardo (8-4) was hurt on the second pitch to the next hitter, Tyler Greene, clutching his side and then departing after visiting with a trainer.
Gallardo will be examined Monday in Milwaukee by team physician Dr. William Raasch. He tried not to let it ruin his All-Star achievement.
"Hopefully, it's not that bad," Gallardo said. "It's still going to be exciting just to have that opportunity to be there."
Another Brewers All-Star, Corey Hart, homered for the lone damage against Wainwright (12-5), who struck out nine and walked none for his fourth complete game of the season and seventh of his career. After the game, Hart accepted an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby.
No other Brewers hitter made it past first base until the eighth against the right-hander who finished third in the NL Cy Young balloting last year.
Wainwright is 9-0 with a 1.43 ERA in nine starts with three complete games, including a two-hit shutout over the Brewers on June 4. He needed only 99 pitches to polish off the Brewers in 88-degree heat, giving the Cardinals a four-game split to end a 4-3 homestand.
The man on the receiving end, Yadier Molina, had an even bigger day. Molina attended the birth of his second child, a daughter named Arianna, earlier Sunday morning and still arrived at Busch Stadium about two hours from game time.
"I'm here to play. I know I've got my baby back at the hospital but I want to win," Molina said.
Escobar had a tough day all around, also grounding into two double plays.
"Bad day," Escobar said. "New day tomorrow."
Gallardo allowed six runs in 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season, but only one run was earned. Reliever Carlos Villanueva followed with 3 1/3 hitless innings.
Hart is batting .358 (29 for 81) with two homers and 19 RBI during a 19-game hitting streak, the longest in the NL this year and the longest active streak in the majors. He has 16 homers and 49 RBI the last 47 games since May 19, best in the majors during that stretch.
The Cardinals scored all five runs in the third with two outs. Escobar booted Jay's grounder to allow one run to score and then couldn't handle Skip Schumaker's broken-bat spinning bouncer.
Manager Ken Macha was more upset with the first error.
"When you're the shortstop, you've got to take one in the chest," Macha said. "Sometimes you've just got to suck it up and get in front of the ball."
- The Cardinals are 33-19 when Carpenter, Wainwright and Jaime Garcia pitch and 12-18 otherwise.
- Pujols and the Brewers' Jim Edmonds have 386 homers apiece, tied for 53rd on the career list and three behind Johnny Bench.
- The Cardinals shifted their infield defense perfectly against Prince Fielder, with 2B Schumaker right in position in shallow right for a liner in the first and again for a groundout in the fourth.
- Wainwright has 123 strikeouts, one behind Jered Weaver for the major-league lead. He extended his major league record to 24 consecutive quality starts at home.
- The Brewers lost two players in the third. Leadoff man Rickie Weeks was ejected for arguing a called third strike for the final out of the top half.