Postcard from Cardinals camp for Thursday, March 2

By Rob Rains

Weather: 83 degrees, partly cloudy

Result: Cardinals 9, Braves 4


JUPITER, Fla. – Adam Wainwright made an interesting discovery while sitting on his couch about a week ago. He found his curve ball.

“I was going, ‘Where is this thing?’” he said. “I remembered I did a curve ball video with Al Leiter on one of the bullpen mounds in 2012 or 2013 and I looked it up on YouTube. I saw my grip was off.

“I told my wife, ‘I think I figured something out.’ I went and got a ball out of the bedoom and told her to stand back about 10 feet and flipped it to her. I knew right away it was back.”

Wainwright threw “about 7 or 8” curve balls during his first game of the spring on Thursday, working two innings in which he threw 38 pitches.

“They were all good,” he said of the curveballs. “It’s so great to have my curveball back. It was gone last year.

“I’m very thankful for that video. I paused it and went, ‘My grip is different. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I found it. It makes me smile. I’ve thrown it the same way for 20 years. I don’t know if it was the time off or what. “

His cutter was another story, as he gave up home runs on “sloppy” cutters to two of the first five hitters he faced in the first inning.

“I don’t love giving up homers but I am actually really, really, really fired up about my stuff right now,” Wainwright said. “I’ve got to work on my cutter.”

Other news and notes from Thursday:

High: Matt Adams broke his 0-for-12 start to the spring with a home run and single. “I went back to the way I had been in the past,” he said. “I found a little rhythm. I was more calm and seeing the ball better. I’d been working the last couple days in the cage and found something that felt good.”

Low:
For the second day in a row a Cardinal had to come out of the game because of a sore back. Matt Carpenter was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game started because of tightness in his lower back. His status was said to be day-to-day. “When he was younger he probably wouldn’t have said a word,” said manager Mike Matheny. “We had good feedback from the medical staff.”

At the plate:
Adams’ homer was one of three hit by the Cardinals. Prospects Paul DeJong hit a three-run shot and Anthony Garcia also homered. DeJong also tripled as he raised his spring average to .455 … Carson Kelly drove in two runs and Jedd Gyorko was 2-for-3, including a double, and his hitting .556 so far this spring.

On the mound:
Seven Cardinal pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts. Jordan Schafer, trying to win a spot as a left-handed reliever and a backup outfielder, struck out the side in the seventh after drawing a walk as a pinch-hitter … All three of the Braves’ runs scored on the two home runs off Wainwright … Prospect Sandy Alcantara worked two innings, pitching around three hits and two walks. He struck out two.

In the clubhouse: The Cardinals signed their 21 roster players who were not yet eligible for salary arbitration … Mitch Harris, recovering from elbow surgery, was on the list of available pitchers for Thursday’s game but did not get in the game.

Up next:
Michael Wacha will get the start against the Nationals on Friday in the Cardinals’ first game at the new spring park in West Palm Beach. Also scheduled to pitch are Trevor Rosenthal and Jack Flaherty.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains