Necessity is the mother of invention, goes the old saying.
So it was for St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Friday night in Pittsburgh. Out of position players in the 12th inning, the skipper sent up pitcher Adam Wainwright to pinch hit with two runners on base and two outs. Wainwright shot a dramatic two-run double into the gap, breaking the 3-3 tie for good as the Cards defeated the Pirates, 9-3, taking over sole possession of second place in the National League Central Division.
In the process, Wainwright raised his career batting average over the Mendoza Line, from .1993 to .2007, in his 543rd at-bat over 11 MLB seasons.
The pair of RBI increased his season total to 10, putting Wainwright on a full-season pace for 27 runs driven in.
Wondering how that might stack up over time, I asked researcher Tom Orf.
The Cardinals team single-season record for RBI by a pitcher, batting as a pitcher or pinch-hitter, is 21 by Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean in 1935. Another hurler enshrined in Cooperstown, Bob Gibson, holds the next three spots on the club’s all-time list and had at least 10 RBI in six different seasons, the most of any pitcher in Cardinals history.
Wainwright’s current count of 10 puts him in a tie for 32nd, but with 101 games remaining to play in the 2016 regular season.
RBI, pitcher or pitcher as pinch-hitter, single season, St. Louis Cardinals
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