Oct 12, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha reacts after retiring the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning in game two of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The sheer brilliance of the Cardinals' Michael Wacha

Wacha, wacha, wacha.

The old Fozzie Bear joke isn’t funny to the Pittsburgh Pirates or Los Angeles Dodgers anymore. They’ve been manhandled by a 22-year old right-hander who has been absolutely dominant in his first two postseason starts; a tall task performed masterfully in the shadow of St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright.

In two starts, Wacha has a minuscule 0.64 earned run average. In 14 innings, he’s allowed just six base hits and one earned run. Not bad for a guy who was picked up as a compensatory pick from the Angels in the Albert Pujols fiasco two years ago.

Wacha has mixed speeds, changed locations and just decimated opposing lineups of late, twice flirting with a no-hitter in the last two weeks. The first time, he came within one out of the no-no, but rather than be discouraged by the ‘almost-greatness’ – he bounced back, just as strong, just as dominant in his next time out.

Longtime Cardinals’ ace Chris Carpenter, who is expected to formally announce his retirement from professional baseball in the coming days, had nothing but praise for the tall right-hander.

“The ceiling is as high as he wants to go.”

This season, Wacha pitched both as a starter and as a reliever for the Cardinals, going 4-1 with a 2.78 earned run average in 15 appearances, nine of which were starts. He was best in front of the home faithful, going 2-1 with a 2.15 ERA, as opposed to his 2-0 mark on the road that came with a 4.34 earned run average.

With St. Louis up two games to none on the powerful Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship series, the Cardinals could be en route to their 12th World Series title in franchise history. The scariest part about that situation if you’re a Dodgers fan? You’re in a 2-0 hole – and you haven’t even seen Adam Wainwright yet.

Tags: Los Angeles Dodgers Michael Wacha NLCS Pittsburgh Pirates St. Louis Cardinals

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