(Photo credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports)
Adam Wainwright will attempt to record his 200th career victory on Monday night when he takes the mound against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a four-game series.
Wainwright, 42, has been with the Cardinals since his major league debut in 2005.
"It's really important for allof us," St. Louis catcher Willson Contreras said. "We put pressure on ourselves because we want him to get to 200 wins. ... Hopefully, he can get to 200. That would make us proud as teammates."
Wainwright (4-11, 7.95 ERA) picked up victory No. 199 during the Cardinals' 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday. Wainwright, who will retire at the end of the season, allowed two runs in five innings during that game. It was his first victory since June 17 and ended an 11-game stretch during which he went 0-10 with a 10.72 ERA.
"Obviously, we want him to finish well from a performance standpoint, but also for him to find joy in being out here competing," St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. "That's hard to do if things aren't going your way."
Wainwright is 21-14 with a 2.74 ERA in 54 career appearances (47 starts) against Milwaukee. He enters Monday's game with a 199-128 career record, and a victory would make him the 122nd major league pitcher to win at least 200 games.
The Cardinals (66-83) are coming off Sunday's 6-5 victory over Philadelphia but will finish the season with a losing record for the first time since 2007. Rookie Jordan Walker's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning provided the go-ahead run on Sunday.
"(Walker is) definitely on a path to be great," Marmol said. "He's going to help us win for a long time, but his skill set matched with his aptitude and overall personality just lend itself to continue to develop well."
Wainwright will be opposed by Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta (12-8, 3.79 ERA) on Monday.
Peralta allowed one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 3-1 victory over the Miami Marlins last Tuesday. He's 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in his last nine starts and has 82 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings during that span.
Peralta is 3-5 with a 6.36 ERA in 14 career appearances (10 starts) against St. Louis.
Milwaukee (84-65) holds a 6 1/2-game lead over the Chicago Cubs at the top of the National League Central. The Brewers are coming off a seven-game homestand during which they went 5-2. Sunday's 2-1 loss to Washington ended the team's three-game winning streak.
"Had lots of at-bats with runners in scoring position and just couldn't get the next hit," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "I think we played solid baseball (during the homestand). The game doesn't go your way every day, the breaks don't go your way every day, and the other team ... they're trying to beat you. We went 5-2, and that's work well done."
--Field Level Media