ST. LOUIS — Adam Wainwright calls teammate Tommy Edman “everyone’s favorite player” on the Cardinals’ roster.
Edman on Saturday definitely endeared himself to the ace of the St. Louis pitching staff.
Edman’s first MLB walk-off home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off Joel Kuhnel lifted the Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Reds and got Wainwright off the hook for what would have been a tough-luck loss.
“He just does everything right,” Wainwright said. “Plays the game hard on both sides of the ball and brings tough at-bats, plays incredible defense, great baserunner, you know, lots of stolen bases, but he’s one of the most talented defenders in the game, no question about it.”
Not all came up roses in the win, though, as center fielder Harrison Bader was taken out after the sixth inning by Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol for “effort” issues.
“I had a great conversation with him,” Marmol said. “He respected it. There’s expectations when it comes to effort. It wasn’t met today. So back in there tomorrow.”
Wainwright isn’t exaggerating about Edman’s value. While his infield mates Nolen Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt get most of the attention, Edman has proven to be one of the Cardinals’ MVPs with his versatility and is third in baseball in WAR at 3.4, behind only the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara and the Padres’ Manny Machado, according to ESPN.
With a runner on second, Edman was simply looking for a line drive.
“I didn’t think it was gonna get out,” Edman said. “I was a little surprised when I saw it bounce in the bullpen.”
Edman’s blast turned a frustrating day, and week, for the Cardinals’ offense into instant celebration.
Reds rookie fireballer Hunter Greene allowed just one hit in his first five innings, striking out seven. The Cardinals had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth but could only muster one run on a Tyler O’Neill sacrifice fly.
“Their starter did a good job in the first few…