Entering the ninth, Wacha had allowed just two walks while striking out eight hitters. He got pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi to ground out harmlessly to shortstop Pete Kozma before notching strikeout number nine against Denard Span.
Just one out away from the first Cardinals no-hitter since 2001, Wacha had the unenviable task of facing one of the hottest hitters in baseball in Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman entered play on Tuesday with a 1.037 OPS and eleven home runs in September. As luck would have it, Zimmerman swung at the first pitch and hit a slow bouncer that made it over Wacha's head. It was too slow for Kozma, and Zimmerman beat it out for an infield single.
Trevor Rosenthal replaced Wacha and forced a Jayson Werth groundout to end the game.
Wacha is having an excellent rookie season for St. Louis and is now 4-1 with a 2.78 ERA over 15 games, nine of which were starts. His performance came in the midst of a tight divisional race as the Cardinals entered Tuesday clinging to a two-game lead over the Pirates and the Reds.
More from SB Nation MLB: