What is it about Adam Wainwright and pitches of questionable intent? A few years ago, Wainwright to Derek Jeter in the All-Star Game. On Wednesday, he made another claim thatâs tough to believe.
During the Cardinalsâ game against the Cubs on Tuesday night, Wainwright spiked a pitch -- badly. Hereâs video evidence:
You might suspect Wainwright would own his mistake and say he slipped, or he gripped the ball too tight, or he thought he saw a tarantula crawling in the grass. Yet he didnât offer any of those explanations. Instead Wainwright offered one centered around protecting catcher Yadier Molina, per MLB.com:
âI saw Molina shift outside, and I was looking at a different part of the plate,â Wainwright explained. âSo when I saw that instantly, and Iâve seen that before, I thought he was looking for a breaking ball, and I had fastball grip. I did not want to throw a ball and hit him in the collarbone or something and have Yadier out. So I pull-hooked it, erred on the side of not hitting him by about 20-30 yards.â
Thereâs nothing absurd about Wainwright noticing he and Molina had their signals mixed. The idea that Molina wouldnât have been able to adjust, however? We see crossed-up catchers make the necessary adjustments all the time. Itâs seldom pretty, and there is the potential the ball hits off Molinaâs chest protector or whatnot. But catchers are always reacting to pitches that are a little off in this or that way in speed or direction or break. If anything, the bigger threat would have been to the umpire.
So, what do we make of Wainwrightâs version of events? Probably that heâs embarrassed by the ordeal and wanted a better-sounding story than what reality offered. Unfortunately for Wainwright, his explanation just puts more focus on his wild pitch.