The St. Louis Cardinals turned the craziest play you will ever see.
Winning 15 games, a new franchise record, has required the St. Louis Cardinals to be on their A-game at all times. On Saturday, in a win against the Chicago Cubs, they turned one of the craziest double plays you will ever see — a sign that it’s sometimes better to be lucky than good.
The play, which can be watched here, was recorded in the scorebook as 3-2-5, 5-4-2-8-6. In the history book, it was instrumental, as it secured an 8-5 victory. And after the game, when detailing the play, center fielder Harrison Bader said that it was a play that he had never practiced before.
“I was maybe expecting a snap tag or something, but to actually get the ball, take a couple steps on the infield and actually throw it to Paul was something I’ve never practiced before,” Bader said. “I see the guys do it all the time in spring training, but I thought I was going to launch it into the seats. I don’t have that little flick throw, I’m a one-speed thrower.”
Incredible. Now, with a 15-game winning streak and the record at 86-69, the magic number for the Cardinals to make the postseason is now three. They could secure a playoff spot as early as Monday with two victories and one Philadelphia Phillies loss. Plays like the double play on Saturday underscore just how much good juju the Cardinals have — and that despite their slow start to the season, they are baseball’s most fearsome team entering the postseason.
These Cardinals expect to win. TJ McFarland even said as much after Saturday’s game. They will out-hit you with Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill. They will out-pitch you with Adam Wainwright and a pitching staff that now includes Jack Flaherty. They will flash their defensive prowess with a unit that could have as many as five Gold Glovers in 2021.
Each element has played a key role in this historic Cardinals stretch. On Saturday, it secured a victory in the unlikeliest of ways, and brought them one step closer to a playoff berth that few, if any, people thought possible.