ST. LOUIS -- Adam Wainwright kept his pursuit of a second career 20-win season alive with No. 19 in the Cardinals' 2-0 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium. And while 20 remains, as he described it, "a notch in the belt," Wainwright has his eyes on one better.
"In my mind, I have two starts left potentially, and I'm thinking 21," Wainwright said. "Why say 20 when you have two starts left? The idea and the goal is to win every one of them. We'll see where they fall. Twenty is a cool thing. But 21 is cooler."
It would also be a first, as Wainwright entered this year with two 19-win seasons (2009, '13) and one with 20 (2010) on his career resume. He had to win his last two starts in 2010 to reach the round number and therefore he never had the chance to go for No. 21.
Wainwright is slotted to pitch next on Monday against the Cubs. That would line him up to be ready for the team's series finale in Phoenix, though there is also the chance that the Cardinals rework their rotation plans if a postseason berth has already been secured.
After going 3-5 out of the All-Star break, Wainwright has reeled off wins in each of his four September starts to position himself for another career milestone.
"Woody Williams used to say this all the time: 'If you want to win, you have to go at least seven,'" said Wainwright, who has now done so in 22 of his 31 starts. "Wins, a lot of times, are a product of you hanging in the game. Today, if I had been out of the game early, I wouldn't have gotten the win. It's all about hanging around and giving your offense enough chances to go out there and score runs off a tough pitcher sometimes."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.