Analysis

Michael Wacha’s Near-No-Hitter Sends NLDS Back to St. Louis

Michael Wacha’s Near-No-Hitter Sends NLDS Back to St. Louis

Michael Wacha pitched a gem today against the Pirates. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Toss 22-year-old Michael Wacha onto a pitcher's mound where he has to keep the Cardinals' season from ending. Add 40,000 screaming fans who want nothing more but to see him fail, and tauntingly sing his name from the first pitch.

Nervous?

"I kind of like it," Wacha said. "It kind of gives me adrenaline. I kind of use it in my favor."

St. Louis' starter retired the first 15 Pirates hitters he faced, six via strikeouts. He took a perfect game bid into the 6th inning and a no-hit bid into the 8th, the first rookie pitcher to ever do so in the postseason. And oh yeah, he kept the Cards alive for an NLDS-deciding Game 5 at Busch Stadium.

"I don't know if you can put a kid in a tougher spot," St. Lo...

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Analysis

James dabbles in the baseballey-writey world. He won the SABR Analytics Conference Research Award for contemporary baseball analysis. It was for that defensive shifts piece, you remember that? Not a huge deal, he also lost a bunch of other awards. He has also written for NBCOlympics.com, Pittsburgh Magazine, Pittsburgh Sports Report and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. By night, James is a television news reporter and weekend anchor for WKBN and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio. Makes sense, seeing as how his degree from the University of Southern California is in Broadcast Journalism. James dispenses more bad jokes at his Twitter account, @JamesSantelli. It's there that he promises to write in the first-person.

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