St. Louis Cardinals: Mikolas leads Cards to rebound victory over Marlins

ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 07: Bud Norris #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after defeating the Miami Marlins 4-1 at Busch Stadium on June 7, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 07: Bud Norris #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals celebrates after defeating the Miami Marlins 4-1 at Busch Stadium on June 7, 2018 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals picked up an important win against the Marlins on Thursday after dropping the first two of the series.

In what should have been an easy home stand, the St. Louis Cardinals fell flat on their faces. They struggled both offensively and defensively, and gave up 18 runs in two games to a team averaging just 3.51 R/G. It was a mess all around, topped off by young shortstop Yairo Munoz and his three errors in the second game.

Luckily, Miles Mikolas was able to continue his surprising reliability this season, allowing just three hits and one walk over seven innings. His ERA now sits at a pretty 2.27, which only trails Jacob DeGrom and Matt Scherzer in the NL.

Mikolas did allow one run, but only off of a Dexter Fowler error. Fowler dropped an easy fly ball from Starlin Castro, and Justin Bour drove a curveball for an RBI double two pitches later. It wasn’t a problem though, as Mikolas was able to get out of the inning without letting the Marlins muster anything else.

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The offense was jump started early by Tommy Pham, who was able to pick up a single on a seven pitch at-bat after falling behind 0-2. This was followed up by a Jose Martinez home run, which ended up being plenty of cushion for a dominant Mikolas. The shot was Martinez’s sixth of the year.

The Cardinals would end up scoring again in the sixth inning off of a couple of hard hit singles by Pham, Martinez, and Marcel Ozuna. On top of that, Luke Voit made the most of his surprise appearance in the seventh by slapping a homer off of Adam Conley.

With a three run cushion behind them, Jordan Hicks came in and held down the fort in the eighth, while Bud Norris finished off the win and picked up the save.

Players of the Game

A. This was a strong performance from Mikolas, and he was clearly the star of the game. He cruised through the game, at one point retiring 10 straight, and an unearned run off a Dexter Fowler error was his only real blemish of the game. The Lizard King reigns on.. SP. 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB. MILES MIKOLAS

A-. Jose’s bat has gone cold as of late, but this Marlins series has helped him get out of his rut. He hadn’t hit a home run since May 18, and was hitting just .206 in the 14 games in between his last home run and the start of this Marlins series. He put the icing on the top Thursday, as his two run homer in the first gave Mikolas a cushion, and he took good at bats all game.. 1B. 2-3, 1 HR. 2 RBI, 1 R. JOSE MARTINEZ

CF. 2-4, 2 R's. TOMMY PHAM. A-. After hitting a bump in the road following his struggles with a groin injury, Pham has looked much better over the past two games. He worked counts well, and looked like he was seeing the ball at the plate. His first at-bat might have been the best one of the game, and the extra run relieves a lot of pressure from the pitcher. Pham was also driven in later by Ozuna as insurance runs for an inconsistent bullpen.

B+. While he didn’t appear for long, he certainly made the most of it. Voit gave the final padding to the Cardinals lead in the seventh with a bullet of a home run. He didn’t even get the ball on the sweet spot of the bat; it was closer to where the bat starts to thin towards the handle. Despite this, he was able to turn on the high and inside fastball and send it out looking almost like a line drive. If he had gotten just a little more of the bat on it, we might be talking about it as the longest Cardinals home run this year.. PH. 1-1, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R. LUKE VOIT

C-. Unfortunately, Fowler is on this list for the wrong reasons. While he did pick up a hit, it was overshadowed by his lack of discipline and the two strikeouts that game with it. On top of that, he made an error on a routine fly ball, which ended up the Marlins only run. It was his first major error of the season, and he has been an above average hitter and defender consistently throughout his career, but games like this don’t make it any easier for St. Louis faithful to keep believing in him.. RF. 1-4, 2 K's. DEXTER FOWLER

The St. Louis Cardinals follow this game with another series that they should be able to win: a three game road trip to Cincinnati.

Next: Remembering Red

Was this game an important step towards key players rebounding? How long will Mikolas remain as dominant as he’s been? Will Fowler get out of his slump and win the hearts of Cardinals fans? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.