Adam Wainwright regained some of his 2009 and 2010 magic on Tuesday, tossing his third career shutout and first since August 6, 2010.
For a guy who had a 9.78 ERA in his previous four home starts this season, the shutout must have been an especially sweet breath of fresh air for Wainwright.
Here's a look at what made him so succesful:
• Wainwright lived around the edge of the zone with his fastball, especially with two strikes. Fifteen of the 18 (83.3 percent) two-strike fastballs he threw were within four inches of the edge of the zone, both in and out. In his first eight starts this season, 59 percent of his two-strike fastballs were in that location. All four of his strikeouts with his fastball were around the edge; he had only six strikeouts with his fastball there in his first eight starts.
• Wainwright threw 68 fastballs among his 111 pitches (61.3 percent), his highest percentage since coming back from Tommy John surgery and second highest since 2009.
• Wainwright also used his signature curveball to put hitters away. He recorded six outs with his curveball, including four via strikeout, without allowing a hit.
• Wainwright was efficient. He recorded 10 outs on either the first or second pitch of the at-bat, his most in a start since 2009. He averaged just 12.3 pitches per inning, well below his season average of 16.8.
Elsewhere around MLB:
How long had it been since Roy Halladay last lost to the Nationals franchise? They were the Montreal Expos, Halladay was with the Toronto Blue Jays and Halladay had only 27 career wins at the time. The year was 2002. Halladay now has 192 career wins, and had won 11 straight decisions against the Nationals/Expos before this loss.
Albert Pujols' mashed his fourth home run this season and 449th of his career. That ties him with Jeff Bagwell and Vladimir Guerrero for 35th on the all-time HR list. Next up is Carl Yastrzemski with 452.
Ricky Nolasco picked up his 69th career win, passing Dontrelle Willis for the most in Marlins franchise history. Josh Johnson (50) and A.J. Burnett (49) are third and fourth on that list.
Phil Hughes again struggled with the longball. Before Hughes, the last pitcher to allow a HR in each of his first nine starts of a season was Runelvys Hernandez who did so in 12 straight back in 2006 for the Kansas City Royals.