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Sunday Major League Baseball in St. Louis' Busch Stadium brought fans a welcome win to end a Cardinal four game losing streak. Adam Wainwright pitched 6 1/3 innings against the San Fransisco Giants, allowing one run in the third. And although he pitched like a champ, it was his time at the plate that continued his amazing 2017 season.

Wainwright helps himself with his bat

With a five run lead, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny sent his Starting Pitcher to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning - a time when most teams seek bench help from pinch hitters or utility players to come in to relieve pitchers from having to swing the bat.

Wainwright's batting average, however, currently sits at .294, which is tied for fourth on the entire Cardinal roster. Forget taking him out and replacing him for a better bat. He is the better bat.

Wainwright stepped up to the plate and hit a shot off the left field wall for a double, sending Cardinals Aledmys Diaz home, picking up an RBI. And though Wainwright started pitching in the seventh inning, he didn't complete it. Yet Matheny preferred to send Wainwright to the plate because of Wainwright's batting prowess.

Changing dynamic when pitchers can hit

When a top-quality pitcher like Adam Wainwright can deliver inning after inning of top quality pitching and is a team-leading batter, the tenor of the game changes. The bottom of the batting order becomes an extension of the top. The need to replace the pitcher during a hot offensive batting inning becomes moot.

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The use of the pitcher as a bunting-batter only is out the door. If a pitcher can hit, their worth is literally doubled.

Wainwright has 17 at-bats with five hits and three runs in nine games. He has one double, one home run, and five runs batted in. He doesn't have the double digit at-bats of the four everyday players who have batting averages equal to or higher than he does. But when he is at the plate, he isn't the easy-out pitcher. This adds not only to his overall versatility, but his overall effectiveness as well.

Only time will tell if the 2017 year will be among Adam Wainwright's best. His entire batting career, however, rests on his pitching career. If he pitches well, he will stay in the rotation. If he is in the rotation, he will bat. The more at-bats that he has, the more the opportunity to showcase his hitting skills. We can only hope that Wainwright's pitching remains red hot.