After allowing ten hits in a start for the first time since 2019, veteran Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright turned to a new tool for the first time.
The 40-year-old starter used the PitchCom system that is now permitted by Major League Baseball, allowing the legendary battery of Wainwright and Yadier Molina to communicate without the need for traditional pitch calling.
The Cardinals had used the PitchCom system before, but until the fifth inning of Thursday's series opener versus the Brewers, the legendary tandem had never used the new technology that relays signs electronically, opting instead to use the tried and true system of the catcher relaying instructions to the pitcher with fingers.
The change mid-game was motivated by caution and a willingness to try anything to avoid letting the Brewers continue to add to their ten hits.
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"Just in case something was up," Wainwright described plainly at his locker after the 4-3 loss. "They had ten hits, so might as well throw it out there and see what happens. Mix anything in there, throw anything at the wall and see what sticks.
"I'm all for whatever allows me to throw a pitch without anyone else knowing what I'm throwing. But whatever it is, the PitchCom seemed to work."
The pair had used the device before in bullpen sessions, so the technology was not 100% unfamiliar, but the tech adoption marked a significant shift in ideology from the pair, who were among the last on the Cardinals and in all of baseball to make the change.
The feeling post-game on how the results of the tech? Generally positive, with a hint of suspicion of the rest of baseball.
"I liked it...you know, unfortunately, the game is where if you don't use PitchCom, you're kind of silly because everybody's relaying everything." Wainwright lamented, "It just takes away from the best part of the game. Hitter versus the pitcher is the best part of baseball.
"And I'm not saying the Brewers are doing anything. I don't know if they were or not. I'm just saying that it is happening in the game, and that's always been part of the game, but it's become a big part of it now."