Although the St. Louis Cardinals don’t expect Adam Wainwright to miss his spot in the rotation as he deals with soreness, the team is covering all its bases just in case.   

Whether the next game is a decisive Game 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers or Game 1 of the National League Championship Series, “Wainwright is (the Cardinals’) starter,” general manager John Mozeliak told reporters, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s Derrick Goold.

However, as head coach Mike Matheny explained, the idea of the 20-game winner not being able to go is in the back of the club’s mind:

Just making sure that Waino feels right. We’ve got two guys on regular rest; it wouldn’t be a stretch to have either one of them go.

There’s no question that Waino has been fighting it. I haven’t made that a secret, and neither has he. It’s all going to come down to how he feels. The likelihood of him saying, ‘I can’t go’ is very slim. But it is a possibility that something might not feel right.

Matheny said that if Wainwright can’t take the bump, Lance Lynn, who gave up two runs in 6.0 innings during a Game 2 loss Saturday, is on schedule to make the start.

Wainwright won 20 games, finished with a career-best 2.38 ERA, was lights out in September and would be a legitimate Cy Young candidate if Clayton Kershaw didn’t exist, but he was blasted for 11 hits and six earned runs in Game 1. His fastball was noticeably lacking, as ESPN’s Buster Olney pointed out:

That has led to concerns about his arm. Irritation in his elbow forced him to miss a start in June, and he had complaints of a “dead arm” in August, according to’s Jenifer Langosch.

There is very little chance Wainwright lets anyone take his spot, especially if it’s in a do-or-die situation, but this is at least something worth paying attention to if the Dodgers force a Game 5 on Tuesday.

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