Wacha closes out spring with strongest outing

Wacha closes out spring with strongest outing

JUPITER, Fla. -- Right-hander Michael Wacha closed out his Spring Training with his strongest outing of March in Wednesday's 3-0 win over the Marlins.

Wacha, who will pitch Tuesday's game against the Pirates in the season-opening series, tossed five scoreless innings against the Marlins, allowing only two hits and one walk with two strikeouts during his 55-pitch outing in his fifth appearance.

"It was nice getting command of a lot of pitches, getting early outs and let the defense play behind me, low pitch count," said Wacha, who finished with a 4.08 ERA. "That's the way I like to work. Everything was on point today."

Roster moves to come

The Cardinals still have six players to cut to reach the 25-man roster for Opening Day, and it appears that those likely will not be announced until after Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.

"We have some decisions coming right down to the wire," manager Mike Matheny said. "I'd love to, before we left town here, be able to summarize all that, especially for [the players]. But in all truthfulness, we've got to go right down to the end and make sure everybody is healthy, make sure everybody can rebound before we make any kind of decisions that we can't necessarily go back on.

"Those are important decisions to make, and we're going to have to take every day, every minute we can to ensure we're making the right decisions."

Weather forecast

It was a blustery, damp and overcast Wednesday for the Cardinals' final 2016 spring game at Roger Dean Stadium. Perhaps it was a subtle reminder from Mother Nature of what is in store for the Cardinals after they leave Florida.

The Cardinals departed their Spring Training home following Wednesday's win over the Marlins and headed across the state to Tampa, where they will play the Yankees on Thursday before heading north to far nastier weather in Pittsburgh. Temperatures are forecast to be in the low 40s on Sunday for the season opener against the Pirates, which might make the Cardinals yearn for the less-than-ideal, yet warmer conditions during Wednesday's game.

"I would be shocked if it was something else. I'm shocked that it's 60 [degrees] there right now," Matheny said.

Matheny told a story about his first Major League game on Opening Day 1994 in Milwaukee, when there were six inches of snow the night before.

"I was scared to death that they were going to change their mind overnight while we got a snow-out and I wasn't going to get my one day," said Matheny, who had made the Opening Day roster after an injury opened up a spot. "I woke up and there was snow all over, and I was never so mad in my life. I turned on the TV, and they've got plows on the stadium [field], and they said, 'We're playing.' And there were cheeseheads out there tailgating with no shirts on, so I knew we were 'Game on.'"

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.