September baseball is generally edge of your seat fun. The St. Louis Cardinals remembered that Friday but then Sunday’s game happened.
After blowing a second lead in as many Sunday’s, St. Louis Cardinals baseball is getting difficult to watch.
The Cardinals won Friday 15-4, lost Saturday 4-0, and lost a gut puncher on Sunday, 6-5. Let’s try to discuss the good, bad, and incredibly ugly of it all.
The team had moments of good offense and incredible defense.
Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright had their 300th start together. Wainwright looked great throwing 6.1 innings, giving up four hits, three walks, and one run. He did strike out four. Even better, the two had a significant impact on the game offensively as well.
In the second inning, Wainwright singled to left field to score Molina. In the ninth, Yadier Molina hit a grand slam, his ninth homer of the year, to center. Tommy Edman, Tyler O’Neill, and Dylan Carlson all scored on the drive.
In the first inning, Nolan Arenado hit his 28th homer of the season to score Paul Goldschmidt. He hit his 29th homer of the season in the third inning, to center field. Harrison Bader hit his 11th homer of the season to left field scoring Dylan Carlson and Edmundo Sosa.
Tyler O’Neill hit his 22nd homer of the season on a fly to center, scoring Goldschmidt. After Molina’s grand slam, Edmundo Sosa hit his fifth homer of the season to right field.
It was great to see them score all of those runs on Friday. And then you remember this team has a tendency to go on a run-scoring spree one night and forget how to hit the next night.
On Saturday, they did get a good outing from Jake Woodford. He pitched 5.1 innings, giving up two hits and striking out five.
On Sunday, the Cardinals led 5-1 at one point. In the fourth inning, Edmundo Sosa hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Arenado.
Harrison Bader hit a double to third base. Eduardo Escobar touched the dribbler going down the third-base line, it bounced off the third-base bag and into left field allowing O’Neill and Molina to score. It was a wild play.
O’Neill hit his 23rd home run of the season to left-center, scoring Carlson. The blast traveled 455-feet at 111.5 mph. It appeared to bounce behind the porch area in left field. It was huge!
On Friday, even with all of those runs scored, the team continued an unfortunate trend. They were 4 for 10 with runners in scoring position and left four on base.
On Saturday, Brewers starter Adrian Houser threw the team’s first shut out in seven years. The Cardinals never had a runner in scoring position but did leave two on base. Molina even grounded into a double play at one point.
On Sunday, the team was three for 15 with runners in scoring position and left 14 on base. This is just sad.
Alex Reyes could only walk off the field in disbelief Sunday after Daniel Vogelbach blasted a gut-punch of a walk-off homer. This was the second Sunday in a row that Reyes gave up such a home run.
It makes you wonder what is next for the once-promising pitcher. After injuries and comebacks, Reyes seemingly found his place as the team’s closer this season. You wondered why the team had him on an innings cap. He even earned an All-Star appearance. There was even talk of him maybe being ready to join the rotation next season.
Now, after two weeks in a row of giving up devastating walk-off grand slam homers, you have to wonder if you’ll see him again. This season anyway. You can not imagine, pitching coach Mike Maddux or manager Mike Shildt trust him in a high-leverage situation.
This two-week stretch for Reyes could be career-changing. Am I exaggerating or is he done? Only time will tell. But this is definitely the ugliest stretch for a relief pitcher I’ve seen in some time for the Cardinals.
It’s beyond frustrating to see.
It really is frustrating to see this happen to the Cardinals. They return to Busch for a four-game set with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Max Scherzer and Miles Mikolas will face off Monday on Labor Day. Albert Pujols will be back. The Dodgers have been going back and forth with the San Francisco Giants for the top spot in the NL West and the first Wild Card slot.
It’s a lot to look forward to, for sure.
The Cardinals are now 69-66. They are two games back of the Cincinnati Reds in the Central and in the Wild Card. The Reds are 73-65. The San Diego Padres regained the second Wild Card spot and are 73-64.
Hopefully, the Cardinals will get a lift being back a Busch and make things exciting this week. After the Dodgers series, the Reds come to town.
Sunday’s game was discouraging. But this is baseball. Enjoy it. Try to, at least.