Wacha confident in process after mixed outing

Wacha confident in process after mixed outing

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Michael Wacha hasn't had exceptional results this spring, but following his 84-pitch outing against the Mets on Friday, the right-hander seemed confident with the process.

Wacha threw 4 2/3 innings in the Cardinals' 5-5 tie with New York. He was knocked around for eight hits, but with the help of two double plays and a strong throw from Randal Grichuk to nail a runner at home, he limited the Mets to two runs (one earned).

Opponents have tallied 23 hits off Wacha in 12 2/3 spring innings.

"I try not to look too much at the results but go off how I feel," Wacha said afterward. "I've been feeling really good. But it's definitely not fun giving up hits and runs. It's not fun as a pitcher. Sometimes you might be trying out a certain pitch to get somebody out instead of something you might do to somebody during the regular season."

Part of Wacha's focus has been finding consistency with his delivery, something he shored up on Friday. The result was improved fastball command. Wacha's work with the cutter, a pitch he has refined this spring, also continues.

Wacha strikes out Betts

"It's been going pretty good," Wacha said of the new pitch. "I've gotten a lot of strikes on it. I've been getting some weak contact with it as well. Being able to throw it in any count is the progression going forward. It's been coming out of the hand nice, and I like the movement I'm getting on it."

Wacha is scheduled to make his final spring start next Wednesday and then start the second game of the Cardinals' Opening Series in Pittsburgh.

Worth noting

• Left-hander Tim Cooney is expected back on the mound in Saturday's Grapefruit League game after bouncing back from his live batting-practice session on Wednesday without issue. Cooney has had two different episodes of arm soreness this spring that have slowed him down. His only other Grapefruit League appearance came on March 12.

• Matheny said the club is aware of Seth Maness' desire to throw a lot over the final days of camp and plans to get him that work. He would not specify whether those pitches would come on the backfields or in Grapefruit League games.

• For the first time in Spring Training, the Cardinals traveled to a road game with their full roster. Matheny said he made the decision to bring everyone -- including pitchers who would not be appearing -- since this was the second-to-last bus ride the team would be making this spring.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.