There is no doubt that Jack Flaherty has not had the 2022 season that he or Cardinals fans were hoping for. The injury bug has not been on his side, as he was just placed on the 15-day injured list, after making his rather brief return to the big leagues.
Jack Flaherty made his return on June 15, but two weeks later, his shoulder troubles once again sidelined him. President of Baseball Operations, John Mozeliak, believes Flaherty will make a return this season. Perhaps Flaherty rushed his return, but what can you expect from a young and hungry pitcher?
This time around, the Cardinals should take their time with Flaherty. He is too valuable of an asset to rush back; the 26-year-old needs to be 100% before he steps back on the rubber. Granted, his 2022 season has not been long-lived, but let’s analyze what we have seen from him thus far.
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Game 1 vs. Pittsburgh
In the highly anticipated 2022 debut of the St. Louis ace, Flaherty did not put up the showing fans were hoping for. Against the third-place team in the NL Central, the right-handed pitcher was not himself.
Flaherty threw 3.0 innings, allowing four hits, three earned runs and had three strikeouts. You can do the math, but his ERA on the season became 9.00 after the Cardinals’ 6-4 loss in which did not go against Flaherty. The Californian was not himself, and seem visibly frustrated with his performance. That is unlike the man who uses the motto “don’t think.”
Game 2 at Milwaukee
A week later, Jack Flaherty was called upon for his first road test of his 2022 campaign. It was an interesting performance to say the least. The Cardinals escaped with a 6-2 win, but you could tell Flaherty was not comfortable out there in the battle against their neighbors of the north.
It was another 3.0 inning performance, allowing three hits, two earned runs (on a first inning bomb by Willy Adames), one strikeout and five walks. He got himself out of many jams that really saved him, and he lowered his ERA to 6.00 on the year.
Game 3 vs. Chicago
Disaster struck once again in his third and final MLB game so far this season in one of the biggest rivalries in all of sports. Not only did the Cardinals lose their starter, they lost the game in heartbreaking fashion in extras, 6-5.
Flaherty left the game after 2.0 innings, allowing just one hit, two strikeouts and two walks. He stated he was not in pain, just experiencing stiffness after throwing 49 pitches. Hopefully the “dead arm” he was experiencing bounces back to life, and the 2020 and 2021 Opening Day starter returns back to his normal form.
Manager Oliver Marmol and Jack Flaherty both state he will pitch again this year, but he finishes his three game stint with a 5.63 ERA in 6.0 IP, 2.125 WHIP, 10.1 BB/9 and 6.8 K/9. His pace was completely different, he looked frustrated and he lacked his typical confidence on the mound.
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