With one pitch, a high-arching curveball that Carlos Beltran couldn’t pull the trigger on, Wainwright ended the Mets’ championship hopes in 2006, stunning the Shea Stadium crowd.
The then-25-year-old right-hander who served as the Cardinals closer at the time got Beltran looking to get out of a bases-loaded spot in the ninth, preserving the Cardinals’ 3-1 win and sending them to the Fall Classic, which they went on to win in five games.
But speaking with the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand about his job in the FS1 playoff booth, Wainwright ended the conversation by offering an olive branch to Mets fans.
“Please extend regards to the Met fans. Tell them, no hard feelings,” Wainwright told The Post. “Katz’s Deli is one of my favorite places ever. Being there to eat that incredible food and experience the life there are some of my favorite days every year. No hard feelings. Hopefully, they don’t hate me too much.’”
A nice gesture, sure, but one that’s highly unlikely to be reciprocated. It’s probably nothing personal, but when a pitcher puts the final touches on ending a team’s 97-65 season, even all these years later, it’s unlikely that Mets fans are ready to take Wainwright’s side any time soon.
Now 39, Wainwright is still going strong for St. Louis, pitching to a 3.15 ERA in 10 starts this season. The three-time All-Star has a career 3.38 ERA with a 167-98 regular season record. In 14 regular season appearances against the Mets, Wainwright is actually under .500 with a 5-6 record and 4.72 ERA.
But that one pitch in October 2006 will always make him a villain in Mets lore.