It isn't often when you see pitching figures of eight innings with one run conceded and it count as a defeat, but that’s what happened to Adam Wainwright last night.
The star pitcher picked up his fourth defeat of 2014 as St Louis Cardinals lost 1-0 to Los Angeles Dodgers in a tight and tense clash at Dodger Stadium.
Despite the loss, Wainwright improved his season ERA to 2.01, maintaining his status as one of the best pitchers in the MLB in 2014.
Wainwright currently sits second behind Cincinnati Reds’ Johnny Cueto in top spot who has a staggering 1.86 ERA for the season.
The 32-year-old came up against the third-best NL pitcher, Josh Beckett, in a clash of the superstar pitchers.
Both held the game scoreless throughout the first seven innings, Wainwright providing a no-hitter in the opening six frames.
Beckett was withdrawn after seven innings but Wainwright continued into an eighth, which proved to be a mistake.
Three singles gave the Dodgers a run and it would be all they would require to win the opener of the four-game series.
Juan Uribe pinched a single in the eighth and managed to advance to second on a sacrifice and third when Miguel Rojas drove a ball to shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Justin Turner arrived at the plate with runners at first and third and threaded the game-winning hit through a hole between shortstop and third to see Uribe home.
Despite that small mark on Wainwright’s record, he could not be blamed for the defeat. Instead it was shifted towards the Cardinals offence who mustered just five hits all night.
But speaking to MLB.com after the game, Wainwright was hurting.
“That’s a tough loss. I feel like I threw the ball very well most of the time,” he explained.
“Unfortunately, when you’re going up against a very tough pitcher and a very tough team, sometimes it comes down to a matter of pitches.”
Wainwright may have gone too far into the game but after conceding just two hits in seven previous innings, a pitcher who is hot on form has every right to take the risk.
Unfortunately for the 2006 World Series Champions, the support runs have dried up. It was the seventh time this season the Cardinals have been shutout.
The Dodgers (45-36) moved to just two games behind San Francisco Giants in the National League West division after the Giants lost 3-1 to Cincinnati Reds.
St Louis (43-37) remained in second place in the NL Central division, five and a half games behind league-leaders Milwaukee Brewers.
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