St. Louis Cardinals: Birds Sweep Braves at Brand New Ballpark
The St. Louis Cardinals swept the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park over the weekend. The Redbirds are now two games above .500 for the first time this season.
With a three-game sweep on the road against the Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals improved to 16-14 on the year. The starting pitching was solid, the bullpen got plenty of big outs, and the offense put up 21 runs on 38 hits in the three victories.
Since beginning the year 3-9, the Cardinals are 13-5 in their last eighteen games. In second place, they’re a half game behind the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Central Division and a half game ahead of the Chicago Cubs.
Who could have seen this coming when the St. Louis Cardinals came limping out of Spring Training after having a solid and productive spring? Who could have guessed this when players like Dexter Fowler and Stephen Piscotty and Jose Martinez (oh, and Jhonny Peralta too I guess) are absent with injury or on the disabled list?
While fans may not have predicted the turnaround of the record, the St. Louis Cardinals were more determined to hold onto their history (at least through 2016) of road victories.
The three victories in Atlanta extends the Cardinals’ road winning streak to six games, dating back to three consecutive victories against the Brewers in Milwaukee. The Braves now sit in last place in the National League East, at 11-18. Since winning their first four games at the new SunTrust Park, Atlanta has dropped eight of their last nine at home.
What was the magic elixir? Despite the loss of players, the St. Louis Cardinals rolled together a squad ready to go into a new ballpark and ready to play. With new “regulars” like Jedd Gyorko and Greg Garcia and recalled players like Tommy Pham and Magneuris Sierra, the Cards put on an offensive show over the three games.
The offense wasn’t alone as the arms on the mound held their own too holding Atlanta scoreless in two of the three contests. Mike Leake continued his dominance to stay atop the NL in ERA rankings and others wowed as well.
The Cardinals had all facets of their game firing at one point or another in the series. Here’s a look at the individuals that stood out in the sweep.