Good, Bad and Ugly: Inside Cardinals’ thrilling sweep of Brewers

Sep 23, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) is greeted by second baseman Tommy Edman (19) after hitting a 3-run home run in the seventh inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) is greeted by second baseman Tommy Edman (19) after hitting a 3-run home run in the seventh inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

The St. Louis Cardinals have won 12 games in a row with their thrilling sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers.

After an incredible stretch many thought unlikely, perhaps even impossible, the St. Louis Cardinals have won 12 games in a row and swept the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cardinals are now securely in the second Wild Card position, 4.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies, 5.5 games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds, and six games ahead of the San Diego Padres.

On Monday the Cardinals won 5-2, on Tuesday the Cardinals won 2-1, the Cardinals won 10-2 on Wednesday and they won a thriller on Thursday 8-5.

What an incredible ride we are seeing by a team that was struggling so mightily just weeks ago. Now, it appears they have turned things around and are on an unbelievable track to much success.

On Monday, the scoring got started early with Nolan Arenado hitting his 33rd home run of the season to left-center field, scoring Tyler O’Neill.

In the sixth inning, Yadier Molina hit a single to left field, scoring Tyler O’Neill.  In the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Matt Carpenter to score.

In the eighth inning, Molina singled to left field allowing Nolan Arenado to score.

Jon Lester earned his career’s 200th victory. He’s now 7-6 on the season after pitching six innings giving up three hits, two home runs, one to Avisail Garcia and the other to Luis Urias. He did strike out two.

Lester got a big hug from manager Mike Shildt at the final out. As the team was shaking hands post-game, each player stopped to give Lester a hug. After years of being foes, Lester and Yadier Molina embraced. Molina was giving him congratulations, they smiled and Molina opened his glove to present Lester with the ball. Pretty great moment.

I don’t think Lester was a hugger before he joined the Cardinals! He seems to be fitting in great with the team.

Kodi Whitley and T.J. McFarland pitched clean innings in the seventh and eighth inning, respectively. Luis Garcia earned his first save of the season pitching a clean ninth inning. Garcia did strike out one.

On Tuesday, the scoring began in the first inning again. Tyler O’Neill hit into a sacrifice fly to center field allowing Tommy Edman, who walked and stole second base for his 26th steal of the season, to score the team’s first run.

In the eighth inning, Tommy Edman singled to left field, allowing Lars Nootbaar to score.

Jake Woodford is now 3-3 on the season. He pitched five innings, giving up two hits and one walk. He struck out five batters. An excellent outing for Jake. Alex Reyes pitched the sixth inning, giving up one walk but striking out three. Reyes is really improving in this new role.

Genesis Cabrera pitched the seventh inning, striking out two. He earned his 27th hold of the season. Luis Garcia earned his 11th hold of the season but not without making things interesting. He did give up a run via a sacrifice fly from Willy Adames allowing Jackie Bradley to score.

Giovanny Gallegos walked two and gave up one hit, but ultimately striking out one and earning his 11th save of the year.

On Wednesday, Tyler O’Neill got the scoring started early. He knocked his 29th home run of the season on a fly to left-center to score Goldschmidt.

In the second inning, Tommy Edman hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Edmundo Sosa and Harrison Bader. Do yourself a favor and watch Bader’s dash from second to home:

O’Neill hit a double to left, scoring Goldschmidt. Nolan Arenado knocked a double to left field, scoring O’Neill.  In the seventh, Bader hit a double to score Dylan Carlson.

In the eighth inning, Paul Goldschmidt launched his 27th home run of the season on a fly to left-center field to score Tommy Edman.

Miles Mikolas apparently had another nice warm sage bath as he pitched seven innings Wednesday, giving up four his and two runs, including a home run to Avisail Garcia. Mikolas did strike out three.

Justin Miller pitched the eighth inning, only giving up a walk. Andrew Miller closed out the game, striking out two.

Thursday’s game would make you think the Cardinals were on their way to breaking their winning streak. But your thought would be so wrong. So very wrong.

Adam Wainwright got off to a rocky start. Tyrone Taylor hit a grand slam in the first inning of Thursday’s game scoring Kolten Wong, Eduardo Escobar, and Luis Urias.  Taylor hit another homer off Wainwright in the fourth inning.

Down 5-0, it was hard to imagine the Cardinals pulling out a winner.

Waino pitched four innings, giving up four hits, two walks, and the two bombs to Taylor. He only struck out one – his career 2,000th strikeout. Kwang Hyun Kim pitched the sixth and seventh, giving up two hits and two walks. He did strike out two.

In the fifth inning, Yadier Molina singled to right field, scoring Carlson. Edman grounded into a force-out, allowing Sosa to score. Lars Nootbaar was forced out at second. On a throwing error on a pickoff attempt by Brad Boxberger, Bader scored.

Paul Goldschmidt then knocked a home run on a liner to left-center field, scoring Edman. The home run traveled 418 feet at 106.6 mph.

In the eighth inning, Manny Pina allowed a passed ball, scoring Arenado. Yadier Molina hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing Carlson to score making it 7-5.

In the ninth inning, Goldschmidt blasted his 29th home run of the season putting a huge exclamation point on one of the greatest comebacks of the season for the Cardinals. The home run went 431 feet at 108 mph.

T.J. McFarland earned his fourth win of the season pitched the seventh, giving up one hit and striking out one. Luis Garcia pitched the eighth inning, also giving up one hit and striking out one. Giovanny Gallegos earned his 12th save of the season throwing a spectacular ninth inning in which he struck out two.

The only really bad or ugly of the series was that Wainwright wasn’t able to do more in a game where he earned his 2,000th career strikeout. Home plate umpire Carlos Torres had an interesting strike zone that didn’t help Wainwright. This was Wainwright’s second no-decision.

Wainwright will definitely have more opportunities, but that was frustrating to see for him.

Up next for the Cardinals is the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. They have a day-night doubleheader on Friday, and single games on Saturday and Sunday. While J.A. Happ takes the day game Friday, Jack Flaherty is scheduled to return to the club for the night game. Jon Lester, a former Cub, will pitch Saturday with Jake Woodford taking the mound on Sunday.

Next. 7 pleasant surprises for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2021. dark

Simply because it’s late September and it’s a Cubs-Cardinals series, this should be a fun weekend of baseball. Let’s hope the Cardinals continue this amazing ride with a big sweep of their rival.