It took him 20 years to reach 200 wins. This is especially impressive when you consider that Chan Ho Park, the longtime “Korean Special” in Major League Baseball (MLB), is the most decorated Asian player with 124 wins.
Adam Wainwright (42, St. Louis Cardinals) started the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) home opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., on Sept. 19 (local time) and pitched seven innings of four-hit ball with two walks and three strikeouts to lead the Cardinals to a 1-0 victory.
Wainwright, who made his debut in 2005 and spent 19 seasons in St. Louis, became just the third pitcher in franchise history to win 200 games. He also became the 119th 200-win pitcher in MLB’s 100-plus-year history.
Wainwright has made it clear that he intends to retire after this season. With far more losses than wins this season, some were skeptical of his chances of breaking the record, but he roared back with his best pitch of the season at the end of the season.
The 29th overall pick of the Atlanta Braves in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft, he arrived in a St. Louis uniform via trade in 2003, but didn’t make his big league debut until 2005.
He established himself as one of the best pitchers in MLB, reaching the 20-win plateau twice, in 2010 and 2014. To date, in 478 career games, he has a 200-128 record, three saves, 17 shutouts, a 3.53 ERA, and 2202 strikeouts. His stellar defense has earned him two Gold Gloves (2009-2013), three All-Star nods (2010-2013-2014), one Silver Slugger (2017), and one Roberto Clemente Award (2020).
Prior to today, he had struggled this season, going 4-11 with a 7.95 ERA. Last year, he won 11 games (12 starts) and showed that he was still a force to be reckoned with, but some felt it was time for him to step aside. Even though he was one win away from the milestone, it was hard to see him reaching the 200-win mark at the end of the season.
Wainwright, who tasted victory for the first time in nearly three months when he allowed two runs in five innings in his last outing, cooked the Milwaukee bats with an admirable performance.
He gave up a walk to start the inning, but got out of the jam by inducing a low cut fastball to Carlos Santana for a double play.
After striking out the side in the second, Wainwright put runners on first and second with a walk and a single in the third, but William Contreras induced an infield grounder to end the inning.
In the fourth, he faced two batters and struck out Roddy Telles on a low sinker in a nine-pitch battle, and in the seventh, after retiring just three batters in each of the fifth and sixth innings, he gave up a hit to the first batter he faced and got an infield grounder and two flyouts to end the inning.
He gave up singles in the sixth and seventh innings, but the veteran pitcher showed excellent command and got out of the jam without allowing a run. His fastball only touched 87.6 mph (141 km/h) on the day, but it was a resonant pitch that made it clear that velocity isn’t everything for a pitcher.
The home fans stood and applauded every time Wainwright got out of a jam, and they were especially enthusiastic when the win was finalized, a moment that made all the difference in the world to St. Louis fans. A video congratulating Wainwright on his 200th win was shown on the stadium scoreboard and fireworks were set off to celebrate.
Wainwright wasn’t feeling well. According to MLB.com, the official MLB website, Wainwright came into the game with his arm and back wrapped in protective tape because of soreness, but he said, “For one night at least, I was a real pitcher and I still wanted to be,” adding, “This was my first no-hitter of the season and definitely my longest, and I was me tonight.” It was a movie ending.안전놀이터
It was a movie ending, a fantastic ending for a veteran pitcher who has outlasted the odds. A stellar pitching performance while battling injuries, and the 200 wins that came with it.
Wainwright became the fifth active member of the 200-win club, joining Justin Verlander (255), Zack Greinke (224), Max Scherzer (214), and Clayton Kershaw (209).
He needed 12 more starts to get to 198 wins and then one more. “The fruit was sweeter because I worked so hard,” Wainwright said, “There were times when I wasn’t sure it was possible. “There were times when I wasn’t sure it was possible, but I’m so happy that I was able to turn it around.
Fans in Korea are familiar with the story of Kim Kwang-hyun’s arrival in St. Louis, where he became a training partner and helped him adjust to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). In response to the news of his 200th win, Kim posted a photo of him on his social media accounts, writing “waino” (Wainwright’s nickname) and “respect” to congratulate him.