From his basement studio, Andy Cohen must have had smile on his face last night.
The host of Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” and noted St. Louis Cardinals fan, named his dog Wacha after the major league pitcher.
And his canine’s namesake, Michael Wacha, looked pretty good for his new team, the New York Mets, last night in the Amazin’s 7-4 win in Boston.
More importantly, Wacha may prove to be the better signing for the Mets compared to Rick Porcello, who signed a day apart during the Winter Meetings.
Because of his Cy Young pedigree, Porcello was thought to be the smart signing, but Wacha after one start at least is showing his old form, while Porcello struggled in his first start.
An All-Star in 2015, Wacha made changes with his mechanics during the offseason to get back to his old form, after a number of injury-laden seasons. Last night how fastball averaged 94.7 MPH up from 93 a year ago and his changeup has tremendous bite on it.
“I felt like I had pretty good command of the fastball, cutter, and changeup,” said Wacha, after allowing one run over five innings. “Me and [Wilson] Ramos, we got on a nice little groove there. We were attacking the zone and making pitches. Just trying to let the defense play behind me and make plays and they did just that.”
Sure one start is one start, but Wacha looked like the pitcher from 2015 out there when he went 17-7 with a 3.38 ERA. He worked on becoming that pitcher again. Went back to his old motion and was more upright.
It showed with the changeup, which dropped off the table to batters.
“I spent a lot of the offseason and these last few months during the quarantine and shutdown working on mechanics stuff and getting it to where I need it to be,” he said. “[The changeup] made me who I am. Good to get some swings and misses on it, some weak contact on it.”
When the Mets signed Porcello, Wacha became an afterthought. After all, the Mets lost Zack Wheeler, but sill had four very solid starters. Then Noah Syndergaard went down with Tommy John and Marcus Stroman tore his calf and `all of a sudden, the Mets needed both Porcello and Wacha to step up.
Last night, with the Mets desperately needing a win in game 4 of a 60-game season Wacha came through.
“Just excellent,” manager Luis Rojas said. “One mistake against that lineup, what more can you ask? He put us in a good spot today.”
They are going to need him to anchor the middle of the rotation, especially with Stroman out. Afainst the Red Sox he made everyone in blue and orange smile.
And probably one Cardinals fan from his basement, as well.