St. Louis Cardinals offense lights up in sweep of Pirates

Miranda Remaklus
May 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Albert Pujols (5) hits a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
May 22, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Albert Pujols (5) hits a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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St Louis Cardinals
Matthew Liberatore (52) pitches during the first inning of a spring training game at Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports /

The Good

Two of the top prospects in the Cardinals system were called up this weekend. Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore were called up and made their major league debut this weekend.

Gorman was 1-for3 on Friday with one walk and an RBI. He was 1-for-2 on Saturday, coming into the game after Dylan Carlson was removed and Tommy Edman shifted from second to replace Carlson in centerfield. Gorman was 3-for-5 with three runs, an RBI and a walk.

Gorman doubled on a liner to center field in the first inning Sunday, scoring Tommy Edman.

Liberatore had a no-decision in his debut Saturday. He pitched 4.2 innings, giving up seven hits, two walks, four earned runs and two strikeouts. He did induce five swings and misses. Bryan Reynolds hit an inside-the-park home run to left field, scoring Ke’Bryan Hayes.

Drew VerHagen earned his first win of the season after pitching 2.1 innings in relief of Liberatore. He gave up one walk while striking out two and inducing six swings and misses.

Ryan Helsley pitched the ninth inning, earning his second save of the year. He had one strike out.  He topped out on velocity at 102.3.

Also, on Friday, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright earned their 204the career win as a starting battery in their 312th game as a starting battery. Wainwright earned his fifth win of the season, pitching seven innings, giving up four hits, three walks and one earned run, a homer to Michael Chavis. He did strike out three and induced five swings and misses.

Molina was 2-for-4 on Friday with two RBI. On Saturday, he was 0-for-4 with a run, Molina reached on a fielder choice, allowing Juan Yepez to score. Molina pitched, that’s right pitched, on Sunday in the ninth. He saved the bullpen but did give up four hits and four earned runs, including two home runs  Yoshi Tsutsugo hit one to right field. Jack Suwiniski hit his fourth of the season to center, scoring Hayes. Much like  his bestie Albert Pujols, Molina too has an ERA of 36.00. Impressive!

Giovanny Gallegos had a huge comeback Friday evening, earning his eighth save of the season, pitching 1.2 innings, striking out five and inducing six swings and misses. He looked sharp and confident in his return to the mound after giving up a walk-off homer the day before to Pete Alonso of the New York Mets.

On Saturday, Paul Goldschmidt was 4-for-5 with two RBI. Goldy doubled in the second inning scoring Molina and Edmundo Sosa.  He had a single in the ninth that traveled 234-feet at an astonishing 108.5 mph off the bat.

On Sunday, Nolan Arenado was 1-for-2 as the designated hitter. He hit a sacrifice fly into right field in the second inning, scoring Tommy Edman. Brendan Donovan doubled to center field, scoring Gorman and Yepez in the second inning.

Harrison Bader was 2-for-5 on Sunday. He knocked a single to left field in the second inning, scoring Edmundo Sosa.  Sosa doubled in the eighth inning to left field, scoring Gorman. In the ninth, Bader knocked his fourth home run of the season to left, scoring Andrew Knizner. The homer traveled 401-feet at 101.3 mph.

Tommy Edman was 3-for-6 on Sunday, with three runs and two RBI. Edman doubled to right field in the second, scoring Corey Dickerson and Bader.

Juan Yepez was 1-for-5 with two runs on Sudnay. He doubled to left field scoring Arenado.

Albert Pujols replaced Arenado as the designated hitter in the fifth inning on Sunday. In his first at-bat, Pujols hit his third home run of the season to left field. This home run traveled 425-feet at 105.7 mph. In the ninth inning, he hit his fourth homer of the season to the same area in left field, scoring Edman and Gorman. This home run traveled 403-feet at 104.1 mph.

Pujols now has a total of 683 home runs for his career. He’s 13 away from Alex Rodriguez’s 696 career homer total. He is 17 home runs away from 700. These numbers seem doable if he gets on a streak fans known he is capable of doing.

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