St. Louis Cardinals: Despite sweep, Nolan Arenado shined against Padres

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Nolan Arenado #28 of the St Louis Cardinals adjusts his batting gloves during at at-bat against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on May 16, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
Nolan Arenado #28 of the St Louis Cardinals adjusts his batting gloves during at at-bat against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on May 16, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /
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The St. Louis Cardinals had a horrible weekend in San Diego, suffering a sweep. However, Nolan Arenado went on a tear in California.

There was not much to feel good about after the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2-4 road trip. The starting rotation failed to pitch deep into games and issued too many walks. The offense failed to put sustained success together.

But what the Cardinals did see, and hope to see consistently going forward, was Nolan Arenado at his best. He homered in each game against the San Diego Padres, hitting 6 for 12 with four RBI and raising his season numbers to .300/.353/.563 with nine home runs and 28 RBI.

Arenado, 30, finally looks like he feels comfortable in St. Louis and with his new teammates, which should have the organization optimistic that he can continue to perform at an elite level. Better yet, he looks like he has no lingering effects from injuries he dealt with all of last season, something that largely contributed to his down season and eventual trade out of Colorado.

A healthy Arenado completely changes the Cardinals. He makes them a legitimate World Series contender and gives them one of the most fearsome duos with Paul Goldschmidt. And so far, Arenado has helped the team navigate the first month and a half of the season to having one of the best records in the National League despite dealing with a plethora of injuries.

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This weekend was a blip on the radar to what has been a very successful start to 2021. The starting pitching will be better. The offense will score more runs. And having Arenado, a legitimate MVP candidate, leading that charge should have Cardinals fans optimistic about what is potentially to come this season once the team finally gets healthy.

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