Last week, Adam Wainwright fought through a bout with back spasms and pain in his ribs to make a key start against the Brewers. Beyond all odds, the Cardinals right-hander and two-time World Series champion fired seven scoreless innings against the team's NL Central rivals.
All he needed was a solo home run by Willson Contreras to secure his 200th career win in front of the home fans at Busch Stadium. Last week, manager Oli Marmol announced that Wainwright would not be pitching in San Diego against the Padres and that if he was to pitch again, he would do so in the team's final home series against the Reds.
A few days later, John Denton revealed Wainwright's situation and that he almost didn't make his start because of his back issue. This ultimately cast doubt over whether or not the three-time All-Star would pitch again this season.
Denton revealed on Sunday that the Cardinals are still unsure about whether they'll let him make one final start or if his start against the Brewers was his last one. Denton stated that Marmol and the Cardinals had hoped to formulate a plan by Sunday, but his health has caused them to rethink things.
MLB Rumors: Will Cardinals let Adam Wainwright start another game?
It would be unfortunate if Wainwright cannot pitch again, as one more start would give the fanbase one final chance to say goodbye to the franchise icon. However, he would at the very least walk away on a high note, having pitched seven shutout innings in his final start.
Wainwright turned 42 in the month of August and is set to retire at the end of the season. Unfortunately, he won't get another chance to pitch in the postseason, as the Cardinals are already mathematically eliminated from the playoff hunt. Wainwright did not pitch in the Wild Card Series against the defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies last October after a September full of struggles.
The 42-year-old is 5-11 with an abysmal 7.40 ERA in his final season. He is also the last remaining holdover from the Cardinals World Series teams from 2006, 2011, and 2013. When Wainwright retires, the Cardinals will have nobody left from either of those teams, barring certain offseason moves.
Even if Wainwright doesn't pitch again, he'll have a ceremony dedicated to him on the final day of the season before the Cardinals take on the young, upstart Reds for the final time in 2023.