Taking two out of three games from the Cincinnati Reds sounds wonderful. Why, after that just happened for the St. Louis Cardinals, does it feel like another case of what could have been?
The St. Louis Cardinals had an opportunity to gain significant ground on the Cincinnati Reds and the Wild Card chase. Taking two of three games in this series was good. But, again, it could have been so much better.
The Cardinals won Monday 3-1. Tuesday’s game was delayed due to inclement weather brought by Hurricane Ida and a day-night, seven-inning doubleheader took place Wednesday. The Cardinals took game one of the doubleheader 5-4 and lost the finale 12-2.
The team had some excellent help from their pitching. Jon Lester pitched 6.1 innings, giving up one hit, two walks, and one homer to Kyle Farmer. He also struck out five and induced 14 swing and misses. It was his best outing since joining the Cardinals. Very positive, indeed.
T.J. McFarland threw 1.1 innings, giving up one hit and striking out one. Luis Garcia pitched a third of an inning. Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth and struck out one, earning his third save of the season.
After Sunday’s devastating loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was good to get an effective inning, and most importantly a save, from the closer. Gallegos made a nice case for himself to take over the duties.
During game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader with the Reds, Goldschmidt got things started early. He blasted his 23rd home run of the season to center field in the first inning.
Harrison Bader hit his 10th homer run of the season to left field.
In the third inning, Edmundo Sosa hit a sacrifice fly to right field, allowing Nolan Arenado to score.
In the fourth inning, Goldschmidt hit his 24th home run of the season on a fly to center field, scoring Tommy Edman.
I’m skipping the bad because the second game of the doubleheader was just ugly.
While the Cardinals got their scoring off home runs from Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado, the one-run shots were nothing compared to the onslaught from the Reds.
Nick Castellanos added to the lore of his infamy amongst the Cardinals fan base. In the first inning, he hit a home run off J.A. Happ to score Jonathan India. In the second inning, he hit a grand slam, his 26th homer of the season, to left-center off Happ. He scored India, Sonny Gray and Tyler Stephenson.
Cardinals manager Mike Shildt requested that Castellanos bat be checked for safety purposes but during the television broadcast of the game, viewers could see a large chunk missing from the top of the bat. A crack was coming from the area, too.
This tweet from C. Trent Rosecrans shows detailed images of the bat in question. He noted Castellanos was advised not to use the bat again for safety reasons, and promptly returned it to the youngster behind the Reds dugout that he had handed the bat off to after the homer.
The ever-delightful Castellanos told Rosecrans after the doubleheader that there was a chunk out of his bat missing when he hit his opening day home run against the Cardinals.
To lessen the ire from the ugly, please take a look at this spectacular catch made by Tommy Edman.
That kid is good!
It was awesome to see Goldschmidt continue his productivity in the lineup with all of the homers. The Cardinals are still struggling to put a string of hits and runs together consistently so it’s good to see a player like Goldschmidt step it up for his team. Now if everyone else will come together consistently!
The Cardinals are now 68-64 on the season, 2.5 games back of the Reds, and tied with the Philadelphia Phillies in the wild card race. The San Diego Padres are a half-game back of the Reds, who are now 71-63 on the season and still in the second wild-card spot. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a solid 13 game lead on the top Wild Card spot.
We have a little over a month of regular-season baseball remaining with many intriguing match-ups for the Cardinals, who are technically still in this race. It is very frustrating but definitely edge-of-your-seat baseball watching.
The team has a much-needed day off Thursday as they head to Milwaukee for an important three-game set against the Brewers. Very intriguing. Rest up and get your snacks ready!