MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eight days after winning his 200th game, 42-year-old Adam Wainwright said Tuesday he has thrown his final pitch.
“I’ve thought a lot about it the last few days, but I’m in a really good place mentally,” the St. Louis Cardinals right-hander said ahead of his team’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. “No regrets about anything I ever did, no second thoughts of, am I making the right decision on pitching or retiring. I’m at peace with all of it in this spot that I’ve never been.
“I’ve literally left everything I had out there, for real.”
Wainwright, a three-time All-Star, pitched all 18 of his seasons with the Cardinals, who won the 2006 World Series in his second year. He threw seven innings of four-hit ball in winning his final start, a 1-0 victory Sept. 18 over the Brewers in St. Louis.
“I knew the day after I pitched that it was going to be very hard for me to throw a ball competitively ever again,” he said.
It was the longest outing this season for Wainwright (5-11, 7.40 ERA). He recorded his final out by throwing a curveball to Josh Donaldson, who flied out.
“I felt kind of like Kevin Costner in that movie where I’m thinking, I can do this one more time,” he said of his final pitch.
Wainwright went on the injured list in March (groin injury) and in July (shoulder strain). He made 21 starts and threw 101 innings, with 55 strikeouts.
Manager Oliver Marmol said that during the Cardinals’ series in San Diego against the Padres over the weekend, Wainwright played catch “and the reality is, there’s no way he’d be able to go out and throw another inning.”
“To walk off the way he did, at home, ended on a curveball, fans on their feet, the ovation after he came out, all of it, there’s not a better way to go out,” Marmol said.