Good, Meh, Ugly: Cardinals beat Brewers, surge into wild card game

ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Dylan Carlson #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals catches a fly ball against the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on September 30, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Dylan Carlson #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals catches a fly ball against the Milwaukee Brewers in the ninth inning at Busch Stadium on September 30, 2021 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

The streak may be over, but the St. Louis Cardinals still look good with wild card game on the horizon.

A historic 17-game winning streak ended for the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday evening, but the team thankfully returned to their winning ways Thursday afternoon.

The Cardinals won and clinched their NL Wild Card spot with a 6-2 win on Tuesday. The streak ended on Wednesday with a 4-0 loss. And on Thursday, the Cardinals won 4-3.

Let’s discuss the good, meh, and ugly of it all.

The Good

The Cardinals looked good Tuesday night as they beat the Milwaukee Brewers.

Dylan Carlson helped get the team on the board with his 16th home run of the season, a 377-foot fly to right-center field off Brandon Woodruff.

Later in the fourth, Adam Wainwright hit a sacrifice bunt allowing Harrison Bader to score from third base.

In the fifth inning, Tyler O’Neill singled to right field, allowing Paul Goldschmidt to score. Due to a fielding error from Avisail Garcia, O’Neill moved up to the third base.

Nolan Arenado hit a sacrifice fly to center field, allowing O’Neill to score.

Jose Rondon launched a 378-foot homer to left field in the sixth inning off Hoby Milner.

Nolan Arenado hit his 34th home run on a 399-foot line drive to left-center field off Milner.

Adam Wainwright is now 17-7 on the season after pitching six innings, giving up seven hits and two earned runs, including a homer to Luis Urias. Wainwright did strike out four in his outing.  T.J. McFarland held things down in the seventh inning, only giving up a hit. Luis Garcia looked great going the eighth inning, walking one but striking out two. Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth inning, only giving up one hit.

Tuesday’s game was the NL Wild Card clincher for the Cards. This was an unthinkable achievement merely three weeks ago when the club was given less than a 3% shot to make the playoffs. Take look at the club’s celebration!

Here are some still shots of the celebration, too.

Here’s hoping for some more celebrations for the Cardinals!

Wednesday’s game is discussed below so let’s move on to Thursday afternoon’s game.

Jose Rondon seems to be making a name for himself as a legit bench option at the right time. Rondon hit a sacrifice fly to center field allowing Arenado to score.

Dylan Carlson hit his 17th home run of the season in the third inning. The blast traveled 408-feet to center field at 106.6 mph off Brett Anderson.

In the sixth inning, Carlson hit his 18th home run of the season, this time from the other side of the plate. The homer traveled 393-feet to right field at 107.4 mph off Miguel Sanchez.

Carlson is also heating up at the right time. Here’s a fun fact:

While Harrison Bader got the day off, Carlson shifted to play center field at the beginning of the game, while Rondon manned right field. Carlson is a real talent and it is so great to see him do well at such a good time.

J.A. Happ is now 10-8 on the season after pitching 6.1 innings Thursday. He gave up nine hits and three earned runs, including a homer to Luis Urias. Happ struck out seven batters. Solid outing from Happ for sure.

Kodi Whitley pitched one inning, walking one and striking out two. T.J. McFarland pitched one inning, only walking one. Luis Garcia pitched two-thirds of an inning, striking out two batters. Impressive! He earned his second save of the season.

The Meh

We’re using Meh because Wednesday evening’s game wasn’t bad but it was not good. It was Meh.

Miles Mikolas is now 2-3 on the season earning the loss in a game he went 5.2 innings, giving up seven hits, one walk, and three earned runs, including a homer to Daniel Vogelbach. Mikolas did strike out seven in his effort.

Andrew Miller pitched the remainder of the fifth inning and the sixth inning. He gave up one hit, a home run to Manny Pina. Miller did strike out three.  Jack Flaherty looked good pitching the eighth inning. He gave up one walk, a hit, and struck out one.

Genesis Cabrera pitched a solid ninth inning, striking out one.

The Ugly

The Milwaukee Brewers ended the Cardinals’ 17-game winning streak with a 4-0 shut out. The club sat Tyler O’Neill, Tommy Edman, Nolan Arenado and Yadier Molina. This is understandable as they clinched their playoff spot Tuesday. Some of these guys really needed a night off, so I’m glad they are getting that in now.

Even with their best players at moving their teammates around the basepath out of the game Wednesday, it was upsetting to see the Cardinals go zero for six with runners in scoring position as well as see them leave six on base. You still want to see the club give their best effort.

Speaking of best efforts, take a look at this play from Jose Rondon manning second base:

In Conclusion

The historic winning streak may be over, but it’s still amazing that it even happened. Thinking back to when this space was mostly The Ugly? It’s hard to believe the Cardinals are in the playoffs. It’s amazing.

This weekend the Cardinals finish off the 2021 regular season with one last tangle with their rival Chicago Cubs. We’ll get to see another start from Dakota Hudson on Friday. Jon Lester goes against his former team again Saturday. Jake Woodford will face the Cubbies again on Sunday, when the team will honor the career of Cardinal Hall of Famer and radio broadcaster Mike Shannon.

10 Favorite moments from Cardinals historic winning streak. dark. Next

Get yourself the cold beverage of your choice, this should be a fun weekend of baseball as we also figure out who the Cardinals will play in the Wild Card game on October 6 – the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants.