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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Wainwright extends streak to four in Saturday loss

Three St. Louis Cardinals starters are working on pitching streaks of six innings or more while allowing two or fewer runs.

Adam Wainwright (AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)St. Louis Cardinals watchers were reminded again and again Friday and Saturday night that despite a pair of losses, the club is in first place in the National League Central in a large part due to its excellent starting pitching. The rotation as a whole is third in Major League Baseball in ERA at 2.79 and has logged eight of the club’s ten wins.

Take Adam Wainwright’s complete game Saturday night at San Francisco during which his ERA actually grew from 1.50 to 1.69 despite a superb performance. The 28-year-old spun his fourth consecutive start of six or more innings allowing two or fewer runs. In other words, Wainwright has accomplished the feat in each of his mound appearances this season.

The right-hander is not alone. Rookie Jaime Garcia is working on a season-opening string of three such starts after his Friday night outing and former Giants hurler Brad Penny will be looking to join Wainwright at four straight as he takes the hill at AT&T Park on Sunday afternoon.

Reinforcing that life isn’t always fair, Penny has the only undefeated record of the three, but still has taken one no-decision. Garcia has a win, loss and a no decision, while Wainwright is now 3-1 after the tough-luck loss on Saturday night.

From a historical perspective, the three current Cardinals join a group of 25 other such streaks in the last 50 years. Bob Gibson made the list three different seasons, while Bob Forsch and John Tudor each appear twice.

The team record since 1960 is an incredible ten straight starts, accrued by control artist Bob Tewksbury to begin the 1992 season. In a major surprise, oft-forgotten Alan Foster is next with six consecutive outings, logged in his St. Louis debut in 1973.

Cardinals starting pitchers – began season with streak of 6+ innings, giving up 2 or fewer earned runs (since 1960)

Pitcher Strk Start End G W L GS CG SHO IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bob Tewksbury 4/10/1992 5/30/1992 10 5 1 10 2 0 74 64 15 15 6 27 5 1.82
Alan Foster 5/6/1973 6/5/1973 6 3 1 6 2 1 47 33 9 8 13 22 5 1.53
Woody Williams 4/2/2003 4/30/2003 5 4 0 5 0 0 33 26 4 4 6 22 0 1.09
Steve Carlton 4/11/1969 5/3/1969 5 2 3 5 1 0 38 32 9 5 18 25 0 1.18
Al Jackson 5/13/1966 6/1/1966 5 3 2 5 2 1 41 22 4 3 10 14 1 0.66
John Tudor 4/8/1986 4/22/1986 4 3 0 4 1 0 32 25 7 6 8 15 1 1.69
Dave LaPoint 5/20/1982 6/8/1982 4 2 0 4 0 0 27 29 9 8 4 16 3 2.60
Larry Jaster 5/20/1968 6/5/1968 4 3 1 4 2 1 33 17 3 2 8 13 0 0.54
Ernie Broglio 4/9/1963 4/23/1963 4 2 0 4 2 2 33 16 5 3 10 17 0 0.82
Adam Wainwright 4/7/2010 4/24/2010* 4 3 1 4 2 0 32 20 7 6 6 26 1 1.69
Jaime Garcia 4/10/2010 4/23/2010* 3 1 1 3 0 0 19 12 5 3 8 12 0 1.42
Brad Penny 4/8/2010 4/19/2010* 3 2 0 3 0 0 21 17 4 3 3 13 0 1.29
Jason Marquis 4/6/2005 4/17/2005 3 2 0 3 0 0 20 17 4 3 4 15 1 1.33
Matt Morris 4/1/2002 4/12/2002 3 3 0 3 0 0 19 17 5 3 8 18 0 1.42
John Tudor 4/26/1988 5/7/1988 3 1 0 3 0 0 20 7 1 1 3 10 0 0.45
Joe Magrane 4/25/1987 5/6/1987 3 2 0 3 1 1 23 16 5 3 4 16 0 1.17
Andy Rincon 9/15/1980 9/26/1980 3 3 0 3 1 0 25 16 3 3 4 18 1 1.08
Pete Vuckovich 6/3/1978 6/12/1978 3 2 1 3 1 0 22 19 3 3 5 12 1 1.19
Bob Forsch 4/7/1978 4/16/1978 3 3 0 3 2 1 25 9 2 2 7 14 0 0.71
Bob Forsch 4/9/1977 4/18/1977 3 3 0 3 1 0 23 16 4 3 8 9 1 1.17
Ron Reed 6/3/1975 6/13/1975 3 3 0 3 1 0 23 26 5 2 2 10 0 0.76
John Curtis 5/10/1975 5/19/1975 3 2 1 3 1 0 24 17 7 4 10 11 1 1.50
Al Santorini 6/16/1971 6/25/1971 3 0 2 3 0 0 20 21 5 5 10 11 1 2.25
Bob Gibson 4/6/1971 4/16/1971 3 2 1 3 3 0 27 20 5 5 5 17 3 1.65
George Culver 4/10/1970 4/24/1970 3 3 0 3 2 0 25 20 6 4 9 12 1 1.40
Bob Gibson 4/8/1969 4/19/1969 3 1 1 3 2 0 27 19 5 5 8 26 1 1.67
Ray Washburn 4/18/1968 4/30/1968 3 2 0 3 1 1 25 19 4 3 3 14 1 1.07
Bob Gibson 4/15/1964 4/24/1964 3 2 0 3 2 0 26 20 5 5 10 21 2 1.73

* current

Special thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the data.

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