St. Louis Cardinals: Sweep of Cubs means a little bit more
The St. Louis Cardinals swept the Cubs for the first time at home since June 26-28th, 2015.
What a week for the St. Louis Cardinals. First you take two games against the Chicago White Sox, both ending 3-2. Then in come your dreaded rivals, the Chicago Cubs, looking to reassert their dominance over you in your home ballpark. If the last two seasons have taught us anything, it’s the Cardinals would fold, leaving us to wonder if they could compete with the Cubs. But not these Cardinals.
The 2018 version of the St. Louis Cardinals were more than up to the task as they firmly held their ground at Busch Stadium, serving the Cubs a three game sweep. It also extended the Cubs losing streak to five games. But the importance of this sweep is more than just the present standing of the two clubs. The three game sweep at Busch was the first sweep at home of the Cubs since the 2015 season, or as I like to refer to as the arrival of the Cubs.
Many of us will remember well how the Cardinals raced out of the gates, pushed their win total to 100 games, only to be struck down by the young, up-and-coming Cubs in the divisional series. It was the advent of the Cubs’ dominance over the Cardinals for the next couple of seasons. Believe it or not, the Cardinals have gone 14-24 against the Cubs the last two seasons, including a 5-14 record last year.
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Of those five games, four of them were won at home. But that fourth win at home didn’t happen until September 26th, 2017. Then they went on to lose the next three games knocking the Cardinals out of the playoffs. Oh, and giving the Cubs NL Central title while at Busch Stadium.
Something had to change. Something has changed.
The four wins against the Cubs should mean something to this team and this fan base. I mean think about this way, the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t win their fourth game against the Cubs until their tenth game against them a year ago.
The Cardinals have accomplished that in five total games so far in 2018. But the most important thing to take away is that the Cardinals do not look like the team the Cubs have pushed around for the last two years.
If there was a moment that summed up how the tide is turning in his rivalry in 2018, look no further than the 14th inning in last night’s game. As Javier Baez rounded the bases after his go-ahead home run, you could just see the cockiness falling off him. You could see the arrogance of having put this game away.
But like I said before, this is a different Cardinals team.
Dexter Fowler turned their arrogance into the team’s jubilation as he rounded the bases capping off the sweep the Cardinals longed for since the team watched their rivals celebrate a division championship on their turf. Fowler’s home run symbolizes the very thought that if this team can continue to put good at-bats together, especially against the Cubs, something magical might happen.
And if the St. Louis Cardinals continue to make these games count early on unlike the last two years, then the rest of the division should be put on notice.
Next: Condolences to the Piscotty family
The Cardinals look to continue their hot streak into May against the Twins and Padres. Hopefully they can come out on top.