What we see in the first three innings will determine if Adam Wainwright pitches the Cardinals into the NLCS against the Dodgers. Wainwright gets stronger as the game goes on…at least that’s what it has seemed like this season. The only way to get to Wainwright is to get to him early. The longer he goes, the stronger he gets.

The numbers back it up. Wainwright’s ERA in the first inning this season is 6.09, but if you look at the numbers as the game goes on, he gets tougher:

Innings 1-3: 3.92 ERA

Innings 4-6: 2.49 ERA

Innings 7-9: 1.67 ERA