Cardinals: The Good, Bad and Ugly against Cleveland

Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run home run against the Cleveland Indians in the third inning at Busch Stadium on June 9, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Tyler O'Neill #27 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run home run against the Cleveland Indians in the third inning at Busch Stadium on June 9, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

It started out ugly, but the St. Louis Cardinals were able to squeak out a series split with Cleveland. It was an important win as they hit the road on a high note to play the Chicago Cubs.

Familiar faces stepped up in big ways Wednesday as the Cardinals took a series split against Cleveland. The Cardinals won Wednesday 8-2 and lost Tuesday 10-1.

The Good

Tyler O’Neill is still producing and thank goodness. On Tuesday, he scored the Cardinals lone run thanks to an RBI hit off the bat of Edmundo Sosa. On Wednesday, O’Neill was 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBI. Here is O’Neill’s first blast of the night:

Sneak a peak at his second blast here.

O’Neill makes a case for another Gold Glove in left field and Adam Wainwright thinks he deserves All-Star consideration. O’Neill has been an absolute All-Star for the Cardinals since his second injured list stint. Excited to see what else O’Neill has in store as he makes a case for many accolades to come. Can you imagine him competing in the Home Run Derby at Coors Field in Denver?

Paul Goldschmidt was 1 for 4 with an opposite field homer Wednesday.

The Cardinals took charge of the game in the first inning Wednesday when Cleveland starter Jean Carlos Mejia walked Yadier Molina with the bases loaded to score Tommy Edman. Matt Carpenter then knocked a double to score Nolan Arenado, O’Neill and Molina. Carpenter advanced to third on a throwing error by right fielder Harold Ramirez. Great to see Carpenter hitting again!

Wainwright finally got run support as he pitched a gem. He threw seven innings, giving up three hits and two runs all in the first inning. After that he settled down. He did end up striking out six for the night. The team also had scoreless frames from relievers Genesis Cabrera and Ryan Helsley.

The win Wednesday broke a six game losing streak dating back to their June 2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team lost five of six on this home stand, but remain positive. Goldschmidt told reporters Tuesday while the team has had a lot of injuries, they are working to right their ship by showing up and “getting after it.” Manager Mike Shildt feared sounding like a broken record but said the team “is about to get hot.” Positivity is good.

The Bad

Thank goodness for Wednesday, because the team had a drought on scoring runs Tuesday.

In addition to pitching, the team needs to look into a bat or two to help on the bench or a steady option for right field while Dylan Carlson subs for Harrison Bader. With Edman playing in right field most nights, middle infield help might be another area of concern if these issues do not resolve themselves and or Paul DeJong struggles to get healthy after a rib injury.

The Ugly

Pitching remains ugly. It probably will be under this slot for a while.

While Tuesday’s starter Carlos Martinez actually did better than his last outing, it still wasn’t anything to brag about. He threw 71 pitches over the course of four innings, giving up seven hits, a walk and a homer to Jose Ramirez. He did strike out seven and had 12 swings and misses, so he had that going for him.

Andrew Miller, Jake Woodford, Daniel Ponce de Leon, Seth Elledge and Junior Fernandez each pitched an inning of relief. Ponce did the best of the bunch throwing only nine pitches. He only gave up one hit. Fernandez had a poor outing in which he threw 29 pitches, giving up five hits and four earned runs. Martinez, Woodford and Elledge gave up a walk each. As of Wednesday afternoon, the team has collectively given up 257 walks. They gave up zero during Wednesday’s game.

Next. St Louis Cardinals: Keep an eye on Cleveland reliever Bryan Shaw. dark

Happy with their victory to end the rough home stand, the Cardinals go to Chicago for a three game set against the Cubs at Wrigley.