ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals' season was in the hands of rookie Michael Wacha on Wednesday night, when he took the mound looking to send the World Series to a Game 7.
Regardless of the outcome, the Cards have already distinguished themselves with their reliance on rookie pitching this postseason. They have set a postseason record for innings pitched by rookies (59 entering Wednesday), passing the 2002 Angels, who needed rookies to cover 55 2/3 innings during their championship run in 2002.
Interestingly, it was rookie John Lackey -- now the Red Sox veteran opposing Wacha in Game 6 -- who tossed 22 1/3 of those innings for the Angels.
That Angels team tallied 59 strikeouts from its rookies, a figure the Cardinals will surpass with Wacha's first on Wednesday. The Cards cannot catch the eight rookie wins the Halos had (St. Louis currently has five), but one more save by rookie Trevor Rosenthal and the Cardinals will match their own '06 team (Adam Wainwright ) and the '05 White Sox (Bobby Jenks) for the most in a single postseason, with four.
And then there is Wacha, who has had as good a postseason run as any rookie in baseball history. His four wins are one shy of matching Francisco Rodriguez (2002 Angels). Rodriguez, though, secured all of his in relief.
Wacha's next strikeout will be his 29th of October, a postseason rookie record. He entered his start having limited opponents to a .122 batting average, the lowest of any rookie with at least 20 postseason innings pitched.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.