The Grand Slam: Adam Wainwright checks out OK after hyperextending knee

David Brown
Big League Stew


Ace Adam Wainwright put a scare into the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, hyper-extending his right knee trying to cover first base on a grounder to the right side in the bottom of the seventh inning. He was 79 pitches into a shutout against the Mets, but had to leave the game after the awkward play. St. Louis held its collective breath.

The Cards' medical staff gave him a battery of tests to prove the knee's stability, and Wainwright apparently passed, he said in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“My ACL, MCL, UCL, all those LCLs, QCLs, all the CLs are good,” Wainwright said, listing actual and fictional ligaments that could have been damaged in twist. “It’s one of those (plays) that looks scarier than it actually was. … I expected it to be more painful than it actually was."

The "all clear" also gave teammate Matt Holliday a chance to make fun of Wainwright, who he compared to "a baby giraffe."

The Cardinals won 3-0, with Kevin Siegrist and Trevor Rosenthal finishing up. Wainwright might miss his next start — it's to be determined — but he insisted that he won't.


Cincinnati Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto three-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second consecutive start, nearly pitching a shutout again and running his scoreless streak to 21 innings in a 4-1 victory. Andrew McCutchen got the Pirates on the board with a solo home run with one out in the ninth.

Cueto said he smiled when fans at PNC Park tried to rattle him, as they apparently had done during the wild card game in October, by chanting his last name in unison. The chants this time were described as "half-hearted at best" and not necessarily in synch.

''I had to laugh when I heard that,'' Cueto said. ''They didn't forget. The fans have a job to do, too. It's their job to try to help their team out but it didn't bother me.''

It was more awkward, Cueto said, to pitch against friend and former teammate Edison Volquez.

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A provocative pitching matchup at Fenway Park between Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees and Jon Lester of the Red Sox didn't fully develop, and the homecoming for Jacoby Ellsbury was a tad bittersweet.

Aside from allowing back-to-back homers by David Oritz and Mike Napoli in the fourth, Tanaka dominated again in a 9-3 Yankees victory. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is 35 to 2 over 29 1/3 innings. Lester allowed seven runs over 4 2/3 innings after having been outstanding for four starts.

Ellsbury, who bolted from Boston as a free agent after the 2013 season and signed a $153 million deal to play in New York, led off the game with a triple after hearing boos in what was described as a "mixed reception." He also made a sweet diving catch to rob Grady Sizemore of a hit. That didn't please the fans, either, but the feedback wasn't all negative.

After the bottom of the first, a video tribute of Ellsbury's highlights was shown on the center field screen. He smiled and waved from the visiting dugout.

''For them to just take a moment to have some cheers, it was nice,'' said Ellsbury, a big part of Boston's World Series title last year.

PHILLIES GET BACK TO .500: Carl Crawford made a crucial error in the 10th inning while getting tangled up with Hanley Ramirez on a fly ball to left field, and Domonic Brown followed with an RBI double to push across the go-ahead run for the Phillies in a 3-2 victory against the Dodgers.

With the score tied, Carlos Ruiz hit a short fly to left that appeared to be Crawford's all of the way, but Ramirez kept creeping closer from shortstop until he and Crawford practically occupied the same space. They didn't touch — somehow — but Crawford got distracted and the ball hit off his glove for the Dodgers 22nd error in 21 games.

''We both were coming hard and came up short,'' Crawford said. ''Neither of us called for it. I didn't think it was clearly my ball. I was in no-doubles (mode), so that's a long run for me. But I still got to it. I just didn't catch it. It was one of those things where it didn't do our way that time.''

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at and follow him on Twitter!

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