3 key takeaways from the Cardinals series vs. the Reds

Playing the spoiler role can be fun
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds
St. Louis Cardinals v Cincinnati Reds / Aaron Doster/GettyImages
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Ryan Helsley is back for the Cardinals

Ryan Helsley hadn't pitched in back-to-back games since returning from the injured list. But on Friday, he closed the door in the series opener, striking out two of the three batters he faced to secure a 9-4 win.

Helsley wasn't done though. He entered on Saturday with a chance to secure back-to-back saves. He walked Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who was later thrown out at second base. But because he slid hard into Tommy Edman, Tyler Stephenson was also ruled out at first base due to a baserunning violation.

Helsley proceeded to strike out Will Benson, blowing a 102-mph heater by him to end the game, in a surefire sign that the 2022 NL All-Star was back in full force.

This is certainly encouraging. The Cardinals are going to need Helsley healthy for the rest of the year if they plan on spoiling contending teams' hopes. But he certainly didn't look any worse for wear on Saturday night and appeared to be back to his old self.