Despite having had varied successes in the postseason, including striking out his current teammate and then-Met Carlos Beltran to close out the 2006 National League Championship Series, Adam Wainwright has never started an NLCS game.
That is partly due to circumstance (he was a closer in 2006) and injury (he missed the 2011 postseason because of Tommy John surgery).
He will end that drought Thursday night when he starts for the Cardinals against the Giants in Game 4. Wainwright definitely plans to do better than he did in Game 5 of the Division Series against the Nationals, when he put his team in a 6-0 hole in the third inning.
"I completely choked. All part of my plan," he said before Game 3 Wednesday. "You lose the first two and you're pitching great, you've got to wake the team up. I don't want them out there sitting back on their heels. I purposely went out and pitched terribly to be unselfish.
"And if you believe that," he said, "just so everyone knows, that was in jest."