The Cardinals were able to get a win and avoid being swept by the Tigers. Could the success be a sign of better things to come for the Cardinals?
It was a typical game of late for the Cardinals. They get off to a good start and something happens, throwing them off track and blowing it. But this time, the Cardinals were able to battle back for a 12-6 victory over the Tigers.
It was great to see after an eight-game losing streak that included some of the worst losses you could imagine. As the Cardinals headed back out for a road trip to play the Cubs and Red Sox, it was the right way to finish off one of the worst homestands in Cardinals' history.
It may be wishful thinking after the horrible start to the season the team has had, combined with action and messaging from within the organization that feels beyond what this fan base is used to hearing. For example, Willson Contreras will not be going to an already full outfield, as previously reported. Instead, he will become the team's designated hitter while adjusting to follow the preparation level established by legendary Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. It seems like something should have been addressed sooner. Still, the fact that pitchers have been saying they are having issues executing their pitchers, even with Andrew Knizner behind the plate, isn't something the organization should put on Contreras.
The team has an analyst turned Pitching Coach in Dusty Blake, who should be assisting with helping pitchers execute pitches and instill confidence in Contreras to not second guess situations. Contreras, a previous All-Star catcher, should feel confident in doing his job without having to adapt to either the Cardinal Way or the way Molina used to do things.
Let's discuss the five best things to happen in this game that will hopefully serve as a boost for good things to come for the team.
5. Drew VerHagen and Ryan Helsley hold things down
After an eventful sixth inning in which the Cardinals lost and regained the lead, the Cardinals got three shutdown innings of work from VerHagen and Helsley. Jojo Romero earned a blown save after giving up a grand slam to Jake Rogers.
Once the Cardinals regained the lead in their half of the innings, VerHagen earned his second win after pitching a clean seventh and eighth inning. He threw three strikeouts. Helsley then pitched a clean ninth inning, striking out one.
It was great to finally see some success for these two pitchers.