One of the most maddening things about the Cards this year is their inconsistency. They’ll win a few, make you think they’re gonna get hot, then lose a few. This puts pressure on the players, particularly the pitchers, as our offense is struggling badly, to make sure those small losing streaks don’t become something more. The pitchers succeed, the offense wakes up for a day or two, then the cycle repeats, and the pressure gets put back on the pitchers as the offense goes back to sleep.
That is a lot of pressure over a long period of time.
And nobody feels that pressure more than the staff ace.
A few days ago Adam Wainwright had a rare off day and lost. More specifically, he had an off *inning*. He’s cruised through the first 4 innings, then blew up and was taken out.
All of that made me wonder afterwards, that if all the pressure he’s under ever gets to him. Now don’t get me wrong, he gets paid a ton of money to play baseball, I’d happily be put under a ton of pressure for that kind of payday.
But still, it is a lot of pressure, and I think it’s more than most pitchers.
Clayton Kershaw? He’s got Zack Greinke and Ryu backing him up. Lance Lynn is good, but (and I hate saying this) he’s not Greinke. And our 3rd best option is injured, and while Kelly might take that role (he had a great start last time after being bombed in his first start back.) It may take a little while. And we don’t have L.A’s offense either. In fact, our offense usually needs alot of help from the pitchers, meaning the pitchers have to be near perfect. Nobody is expected to perfect more than Waino. He is our ace after all. Which probably he puts pressure on himself to perform as well.
Back to pitcher Comparisons…King Felix has Iwakuma backing him up. In fact, a lot of contenders have a pair of aces, or in Milwaukee’s case, a bunch of solid starters. Which tells me, you can’t ride one horse all the way to the end. But does the horse see it that way?
Let’s say we acquired David Price. How will Waino see that move? He’ll say the right things in public, of course, the man is a pro’s pro…But will he feel even a little betrayed that management couldn’t trust him to carry the team as the lone ace, so they brought in a second ace?
If, at my job, someone was hired to share my job with me after I’d done it successfully on my own for years, I know I’d feel a little betrayed.
Yes I know it’s all about winning in sports, but athletes are just as human as the rest of us, with the same emotions, to boot.
Just some food for thought.
Thanks for reading.