Wacha, who made his final Grapefruit League start, posted a 1.77 ERA in five spring starts. He also had 16 strikeouts to four walks in 20 1/3 innings.
Wacha allowed four hits and one walk, while striking out four. He lowered his spring ERA to 1.76 in his fourth spring start.
"I was happy with it," Wacha said of his performance. "[I'm] just continuing to go out there and working on the pitches and strikes, fastball command, down in the zone. Hopefully, I'm on the right track going forward from here."
"I felt really good," he said after being charged with three runs in 4 2/3 innings. "I was real happy with the way the ball was coming out of the hand and the command on my pitches. I was able to throw it pretty much where I wanted to for most of the day. Each time out, [I] just continue to work on the command and control of all my pitches and continue to work down in the zone."
After spending two months on the disabled list, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is encouraged by his progress.
"I don't look at him as anything but a healthy pitcher trying to get ready for the season," the manager said. "Last year ended exactly how we planned it, in that at midseason, he had something come up and we had to back off. That was just being extra precautionary so we could have him ready for spring this year.
"It was a very smart move on the organization's part. The medical staff and the front office wanted to be extra cautious. That was all in preparation for now and apparently it's proven that that was a good thing."
Prior to being scored on Saturday in a 5-4 loss to the Mets, Wacha had allowed just two hits in five innings.
Wacha pitched four and two thirds innings, allowing six hits and three runs, while striking out three.
Wacha missed the last two months of 2014 with a shoulder stress reaction. In two previous spring starts, he pitched a total of five innings.
"I don't look at him as anything but a healthy pitcher trying to get ready for the season," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said, per MLB.com's Paul Hagen. "Last year ended exactly how we planned it, in that at midseason, he had something come up and we had to back off. That was just being extra precautionary so we could have him ready for spring this year. ... Apparently it's proven that that was a good thing."
"I was real happy with the outcome and the way the whole body felt,” Wacha said, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “Real excited to get that first one.
"I had pretty good feel with (the changeup). Fastball command wasn’t exactly where I wanted it. Other than that, I was real happy with it.”
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/7/2014 vs L.A. Dodgers|
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