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Cardinals' Adam Wainwright tells "elbow-fearing world" to relax

Cardinals' Adam Wainwright tells "elbow-fearing world" to relax
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright speaks during a news conference Friday. (Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press)

The St. Louis Cardinals' stunning uprising against the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the National League division series obscured Adam Wainwright's miserable day.

The Cardinals' ace gave up six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, and St. Louis was concerned enough about his sore elbow to tell Lance Lynn to be ready to start a potential Game 5 if Wainwright could not.

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However, when the Cardinals open the NL championship series Saturday against the San Francisco Giants, Wainwright will start for St. Louis. He insisted Friday that the soreness is in a "spot" on the back of his right elbow and that he had pitched through soreness in the same spot earlier this season.

"The elbow-fearing world can know it's not my ligament," Wainwright said.

If the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow tears, the remedy is Tommy John surgery, which Wainwright had three years ago.

"When people hear 'elbow' they think the worst, and rightfully so," Wainwright said. "I've obviously had an elbow issue before. I had that fixed.  And if you see the amount of stars going down with elbow injuries these days, it's natural to have that reaction.

"There's all kinds of sides of your elbow, ligaments and tendons in there that do different things.  The only thing I can do is tell people it's not my ligament, my ulnar collateral ligament, and trust that people will believe me.  If they don't, that's OK.  I'll go out and hopefully prove that I'm OK with my pitching."

Wainwright went 20-9 with a 2.38 earned-run average this season, trailing only Kershaw among NL pitchers in victories and trailing Kershaw and the Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Cueto in ERA.

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