EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 24, 2013

Now, the Cardinals will bring the heat

BOSTON — All Cardinals pitchers throw heat, right?

“Everyone except (Adam) Wainwright,” pitcher Lance Lynn told The Eagle-Tribune before the World Series began. “He gets funny jokes about it.”

Wainwright, who started here at Fenway Park last night in Game 1 of the Fall Classic, usually uses his strong command and sinker to retire batters. His fastball isn’t overwhelming. It averaged 91.1 mph this year and has averaged 90.6 mph throughout his major league career.

The right-hander didn’t pitch well yesterday in Boston’s 8-1 victory. Several of his curveballs were crushed by Boston hitters. Wainwright allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits and one walk while striking out four.

Yesterday certainly was a nice change of pace for Boston who struggled against Detroit’s hard throwing right-handed starters throughout the American League Championship Series.

But watch out ...

St. Louis’ Games 2, 3 and 4 starters — like the Tigers — bring the heat.

Michael Wacha will start today for St. Louis opposite John Lackey. Wacha’s fastball averaged 93.5 mph this year. Game 3 starter Joe Kelly’s fastball averaged 94.9 mph. Game 4 starter Lynn’s fastball averaged 92.4.

How does the velocity of the St. Louis starters compare to the fireballers from Detroit?

Here’s the average fastball velocities this year of the four Tigers starters that threw against Boston in the ALCS: Anibal Sanchez (93.0), Max Scherzer (93.3), Justin Verlander (93.3) and Doug Fister (88.8).

Wacha and Kelly, although they didn’t make as many starts as any Detroit pitcher, averaged better velocity than any Tigers starter.

“They’re impressive,” Cards veteran pitcher Jake Westbrook said about Wacha and Kelly. “They’ve really impressed me this year just how they’ve handled themselves. And for me, at their age, it was so overwhelming. They’ve handled themselves surprisingly well in the big leagues in general not to mention this huge stage they are on (in the postseason). It’s been fun to watch.”

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