St. Louis Cardinals: A four-game sweep! Dodgers series reactions

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 26: Paul DeJong #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium on April 26, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas /Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 26: Paul DeJong #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a double in the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium on April 26, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas /Getty Images) /

The St. Louis Cardinals welcomed the red hot Los Angeles Dodgers to Busch Stadium for a four-game series and the Cardinals were looking forward to the challenging task.

After a great win against the Padres on Sunday, including a blast from the past performance by Adam Wainwright, the St. Louis Cardinals had a little bit of momentum heading into the series against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers were 8-2 coming into St. Louis and their offense was steamrolling all of their opponents and was averaging 8.4 runs a game! This definitely did not look great for the shaky inconsistent Cardinals pitching staff.

Many fans were hoping for at least a series split against this dominating Dodger lineup, but the Cardinals had other plans. Beating the Dodgers is always a sweet feeling, and a series win feels great but a four-game sweep of the Dodgers is deeply gratifying! The Cardinals again had some clear cut winners and losers in this series.

Loser 1: Michael Wacha

Wacha had been outstanding so far this season going 11 ⅔ innings and striking out 14 batters in his previous two starts, Wacha fell flat against the Dodgers in the series finale. Only going 3 2/3 innings allowing 7 earned runs and 8 hits, that dangerous Dodger lineup showed its teeth.

He left many of his pitches up in the zone and not attacking any of the hitters. The performance Thursday might have been foreshadowed from his previous start against on the Padres, allowing a career-high 8 walks! Look for Wacha to bounce back possibly against the Brewers in the series finale next week.

Loser 2: Paul Goldschmidt

Once again, the Cardinals big offseason acquisition has continued his hitting slump during this series and make appearances in the Loser’s list.

Goldy went a shocking 2-15 and only had 1 RBI in the entire 4 game series. That simply is not going to cut it from the perennial All-Star. I’m still very optimistic he will get it going again and see the form we are all used to seeing from him. Maybe in the series against the Reds this weekend in Mexico, Manager Mike Shildt will consider moving him in a different spot in the lineup.

Loser 3: Kolten Wong

After appearing in the Pittsburgh series winner’s list, Wong has now fallen in the loser category.

Wong got off to a torrid start to the season with his flashy glove and scorching bat, but he could not find his stroke in this series. He didn’t have one hit in 13 at-bats and saw his batting average dip to .302 from .433. In the series finale, he started in the leadoff position in the lineup while Matt Carpenter had the day off.

Unfortunately, he was only able to draw two walks and not contribute very much to the 11 runs scored in the game. Wong will be searching for that hot bat to return in Mexico.

Winner 1: Paul DeJong

Where would this team be without their shining shortstop? Prior to the Dodger series, Dejong only had one mulit-hit game and against Los Angeles, he multi-hit in every game, going 9 for 13, including 4 XBH and 8 runs in the four games. His average soared from .231 to .346 in the four game stretch as well.

DeJong is proving to his team and Cardinal Nation that he is going to play a huge part this season at the plate. After being injury plagued for the most of the 2018 season with a fractured hand, the 25 year old shortstop is out to prove to his true potential this year.

Winner 2: The Bullpen

Filling in 16 ⅔ innings over the 4 games, and holding the Dodgers to only 1 run is highly impressive. Every one of the relievers went out and made a night to day transformation to keep the Dodgers from winning any of the four games.

From John Gant to Andrew Miller, the bullpen demonstrated that they can shut down any offense if they execute and throw more strikes. Look for this pen to continue to fill the gaps if any of the starters struggle in any upcoming starts. A huge step in the right direction here.

Winner 3: José Martinez

Starting the season as a now bench player and not having a guarantee to be in the lineup everyday, JMart confirmed how important he is to this ball club. The guy just hits and hits and brings an energy to the game and the team that is irreplaceable.

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In game 4, he went 4 for 5, with 3 runs to his credit. I believe he should be getting more opportunities to start and again remind Cardinal Nation why he a high average hitter and simply a reliable hitter in the lineup. Pray that Mike Shildt will give JMart the opportunity he deserves.

This was a very positive way to end the first trip home for the Cardinals. The team morale is definitely up and looking forward to carry this on back on the road for the next 5 games against their NL Central opponents. I hope, and probably most of Cardinal Nation hope that our top two hitters can get back in their normal groove and that our pitching can continue to stop opposing hitters.

What’s Next?

The Cardinals head to the Estadio de Beisbol Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico for their 2 game series against the Cincinatti Reds. The Reds are coming off a 3 game sweep of the Miami Marlins but look for the Cardinals pitching to tame their bats.

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This will be the first meeting between the two ball clubs this year and starter Adam Wainwright (1-0, 4.50 ERA) will be opposed by Tanner Roark (0-0, 5.79 ERA) on Saturday at 6:10 PM local time. The Cardinals will hope to continue their 5 game winning streak in Mexico and extend that to seven games before heading back to Milwaukee.