Photo: Harrison Bader (Jim Cowsert/Imagn)
The St. Louis Cardinals went 8-0 this week, extending the winning streak to a club record 16 games. The team swept the Brewers in Milwaukee in a four-game series and the Cubs in Chicago in another four-game series. Harrison Bader has sparked the team at the plate (1.548 OPS), in the field, and on the base paths. Paul Goldschmidt has also stayed hot (1.339 OPS). On the mound, Jake Woodford made a pair of strong starts.
The Cardinals continued their win streak by beating the Brewers by the score of 5-2 at American Family Field on Monday. Starter Jon Lester pitched six innings, gave up two runs on three hits and struck out two. Kodi Whitley, T.J McFarland, and Luis Garcia each pitched a scoreless inning of relief. Lester earned his seventh win.
The Cardinals got on the board first with two runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Nolan Arenado. Milwaukee answered with two runs to tie in the second.
The game remained knotted up at 2-2 until the sixth inning. Tyler O’Neill drew a walk to start the sixth. Arenado followed with a single. Yadier Molina singled to plate O’Neill and the Redbirds led 3-2.
The Cardinals added one run in the seventh on a sac fly by Paul Goldschmidt. In the eighth, Arenado walked and later scored on a single by Molina to make it 5-2.
Arenado was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two run scored. Molina was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The Cardinals topped the Brewers in the second game of the series to extend the win streak to 10 games. The Cardinals again took a lead in the first inning and carried that lead into the eighth inning.
The first inning began with a walk to Tommy Edman. Edman stole second base, then advanced to third on a ground out by Paul Goldschmidt. Tyler O’Neill hit a sac fly to plate Edman and the Redbirds led 1-0.
Neither team scored again until the eighth. Lars Nootbaar drew a walk and stole second. Edman singled and Nootbaar scored to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The Brewers finally scratched out a run in the home half of the eighth, but it was the only run they scored. Neither team scored in the ninth.
Edman was 2-for-3 with an RBI and was the only Cardinal with multiple hits.
Jake Woodford got the start for St. Louis and the right-hander pitched five scoreless innings, allowed two hits, fanned five and walked one. Alex Reyes and Genesis Cabrera each tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Luis Garcia surrendered a run in the eighth. Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 11th save. Woodford earned his third win.
On the base paths, Edman stole his 27th base of the season and Nootbaar stole his second base.
The win streak became 11 with a 10-2 Cardinals pummeling of the Brewers on Wednesday night. Miles Mikolas got the start and pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on four hits and struck out three. The two Millers, Justin and Andrew both tossed scoreless inning of relief.
St. Louis got on the board in the first inning on a two-run home run by Tyler O’Neill. The Cardinals added to their lead with four runs scored in the second. Edmundo Sosa drew a walk to start the inning and Harrison Bader reached on a fielder’s choice with a fielding error. Mikolas advanced the runners on a sac bunt. Tommy Edman then hit a sac fly and both Sosa and Bader scored. Paul Goldschmidt doubled, and O’Neill doubled to plate Goldschmidt. O’Neill then scored on a double by Nolan Arenado. The Redbirds led 6-0.
The Redbirds increased the lead to 7-0 in the fourth on a sac fly by Arenado. The Brewers scored their first run of the game in the fifth to make it 7-1.
The Cardinals made it 8-1 on an RBI double by Bader in the seventh. Milwaukee answered with their second and final run in the home half of the seventh to cut the lead to 8-2. Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run in the eighth to widen the Cardinal tally to the final 10-2.
Goldschmidt was 3-for-4 with two RBI and four runs scored. Bader was 3-for-5 with an RBI. O’Neill went 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, and Dylan Carlson was also 2-for-5. Arenado was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Edmundo Sosa was 2-for-4.
The final game of the four-game series was another win for the Redbirds that extended the win streak to 12. This was a comeback victory for the Cardinals, as they got behind early and scored late.
The Brewers put up four runs on the Cardinals in the first inning against starter Adam Wainwright, who was not his usual sharp self in this game. Milwaukee added a fifth run off Wainwright in the fourth inning for a 5-0 lead.
The Cardinals began the comeback in the fifth, with Dylan Carlson hitting a triple and then scoring on a single by Yadier Molina. In the seventh the Redbirds tied the game at 5-5 with a four-run inning. Edmundo Sosa singled, Harrison Bader walked, and Lars Nootbaar walked to load the bases. Tommy Edman grounded into a force out and Sosa scored. Bader then scored on a throwing error by the Brewers pitcher on a pickoff attempt. Paul Goldschmidt followed with a two-run home run to left center field.
The Cardinals took a 7-5 lead in the eighth. Nolan Arenado drew a walk and Carlson singled and advanced to second. Arenado scored from third on a passed ball and Carlson moved to third. Molina hit a sac fly to plate Carlson. The Redbirds made it 8-5 in the ninth on a solo home run by Goldschmidt.
Goldschmidt was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Carlson was 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Wainwright had a tough day on the mound, pitching only four innings and giving up five runs on four hits. The right-hander struck out only one, but it was a memorable punch out as it was his 2000th career strikeout. Wainwright walked two.
Kwang-Hyun Kim relieved Wainwright and tossed two scoreless innings. T.J. McFarland pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his fourth win. Luis Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 12th save.
On the base paths, Molina was picked off first base.
The Cardinals left Milwaukee and went to Chicago to play four games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The first two games were seven inning doubleheader games on Friday. The Redbirds were the winner in this first game of the twin bill and the win streak was extended to 13 games.
The game was scoreless on both sides until the third inning, when Paul Goldschmidt blasted a two-run home run to give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The Redbirds increased the lead to 6-0 in the fifth on two-run home runs by Jose Rondon and Tyler O’Neill.
The Cardinals added two runs in the sixth. Edmundo Sosa was hit on the wrist by a pitch and had to come out of the game. Paul DeJong pinch ran for Sosa. Harrison Bader singled and DeJong advanced to second. A fly out by Andrew Knizner sent DeJong to third. Lars Nootbaar then hit into a fielder’s choice and DeJong was thrown out at home. Tommy Edman followed with a single that scored Bader. Goldschmidt singled to plate Nootbaar.
The Cubs rallied for five runs in the home half of the sixth to cut the lead to 8-5. The rally ended there as neither team scored in the seventh.
Edman was 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 with three RBI. O’Neill drove in two. Bader was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Rondon had two RBI.
J.A. Happ got the start in game one and he pitched four scoreless innings, allowed two hits, fanned six and walked four.
Alex Reyes surrendered four runs in 1 2/3 innings of relief but was awarded the win, his 10th of the season. T.J McFarland yielded one run in the sixth in relief of Reyes. Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless seventh to earn his 13th save.
On the base paths, Edman stole his 28th base of the season.
The Cardinals won big in the second game of the twin bill, shellacking the Cubs 12-4 at Wrigley. Jack Flaherty, fresh off the injured list, started the game but didn’t finish the first inning. The right-hander got one out and gave up two runs on two hits, with one punch out and one walk.
Dakota Hudson, also fresh off the injured list, relieved Flaherty with one out in the first. Hudson tossed 3 2/3 innings and surrendered two runs on four hits. Genesis Cabrera pitched two scoreless innings and Justin Miller threw a scoreless seventh. Hudson got the win, his first of the season.
The Cardinals put up three runs in the first inning. Paul Goldschmidt singled, Tyler O’Neill singled, and Nolan Arenado walked to load the bases. Yadier Molina doubled to score Goldschmidt and O’Neill. Harrison Bader followed with an RBI single to plate Arenado.
The Cubs answered in the home half of the first with two runs off Flaherty to cut the lead to 3-2. The Cardinals came back with a three-run home run by Tyler O’Neill in the second to make it 6-2.
The Redbirds added to their tally with two runs in the third on back-to-back solo home runs by Lars Nootbaar and Paul DeJong. The Cardinals led 8-2.
The Cubs added a run in the home half of the third to make it 8-3. In the fifth, Bader doubled and scored on a Nootbaar single to increase the lead to 9-3. The Cubs responded with one run in the bottom frame of the fifth to make it 9-4.
In the seventh, Bader hit a solo home run and was followed by Nootbaar’s second home run of the game. Goldschmidt added a third run in the inning with an RBI double and the Cardinals were up 12-4. The Cubs did not score in the bottom of the seventh.
Goldschmidt was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. O’Neill was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Bader was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, and Nootbaar was 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. DeJong was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The win streak was extended to 14 games.
The Cardinals won a wild one at Wrigley on Saturday by the score of 8-5 to increase the win streak to 15 games and break the franchise record that was set in 1935. The game was a battle until the final inning.
The Redbirds scored first on a solo home run by Harrison Bader in the second inning. The Cubs took the lead in the third with two runs to make it 2-1.
The Cardinals tied it in the fourth on a solo home run by Tyler O’Neill. The battling Cubs responded by retaking the lead 4-2 in the home half of the fourth. The game remained 4-2 in favor of the Cubs until the seventh inning.
In the seventh, the Cardinals rallied for three runs to overtake the Cubs 5-4. Nolan Arenado led off with a double and Yadier Molina followed with a single. Bader singled to score Arenado. Lars Nootbaar singled to plate Molina. Bader scored on a sac fly by Paul DeJong.
St. Louis increased the lead to 8-4 in the ninth. Bader doubled and stole third base. Lars Nootbaar struck out on a wild pitch and reached first while Bader scored on a nifty slide into home plate, just missing the tag. Paul DeJong then hit a two-run home run to center field.
The Cubs added a run in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Ian Happ. The Cardinals prevailed 8-5.
Bader led the offense for the Cardinals, going 4-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored. DeJong had three RBI. Bader also had two stolen bases.
Jon Lester got the start against his former team. The left-hander pitched five innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits, fanned six, and walked three. Kwang-Hyun Kim relieved Lester and tossed a scoreless sixth to earn the win, his seventh of the season. T.J. McFarland tossed two scoreless innings. Luis Garcia yielded one run in the ninth.
The Cardinals exceptional defense showed through on an incredible double play in the bottom of the eighth. The Cubs had David Bote on third and Trayce Thompson on first with only one out. Rafael Ortega hit a ground ball to Paul Goldschmidt at first base. Goldschmidt threw to Molina at home plate and Bote was caught in a run down. Arenado tagged Bote out and then threw the ball to Tommy Edman to get Thompson. Thompson was caught between second and third. Edman threw to Molina, who was at third, and Molina, chasing Thompson, threw to second, where Bader was covering in the absence of any other infielder at second. DeJong was covering third behind Molina, and Bader tossed to DeJong who tagged Thompson out for the double play. The play went 3-2-5-4-2-8-6.
Bader was awarded an outfield assist for his part in the double play. Also in the field, Arenado made a fielding error.
The Cardinals were the winner of another wild one at Wrigley, this time coming from behind in a late inning surge to extend the winning streak to 16 games.
The Cardinals took the first lead on a solo home run by Paul Goldschmidt in the third inning. The lead lasted only until the next inning, when the Cubs went up 2-1 in the fourth. The game remained 2-1 until the eighth inning.
In the eighth, Harrison Bader broke the stalemate and tied the game 2-2 on a solo home run that went out of Wrigley onto Waveland Ave. It was in the ninth that the game got interesting.
Andrew Knizner drew a walk to begin the ninth. Lars Nootbaar hit a bunt single to the pitcher, who bobbled the ball. Tommy Edman then sac bunted the runners to second and third. Goldschmidt was intentionally walked. As so often happens, the pitcher threw a wild pitch and Knizner scored to give the Redbirds the 3-2 lead. Tyler O’Neill then hit a soft grounder to the pitcher, who barely got O’Neill out at first and Nootbaar scored to increase the lead to 4-2. Arenado was also intentionally walked, but pinch hitter Jose Rondon struck out to end the inning.
The interesting stuff happened in the Cubs half of the ninth. The first Cub batter, David Bote, struck out. Then Austin Romine and Rafael Ortega walked. With Romine on second and Ortega on first, Frank Schwindel hit a routine pop up to third. The umpire signaled the infield fly rule, but Arenado slipped on the infield and the ball dropped. Arenado picked it up and threw to DeJong at third, who didn’t tag Romine but threw to second instead, apparently mistakenly believing there was a force out at third. Edman caught the ball at second, while Ortega crossed the bag and passed it. The umpire incorrectly called Ortega out, even though he was not tagged out (again, no force out at second on the infield fly rule). Edman, on directions from his teammates, then tagged Ortega, who was off the bag. At that point the umpire, apparently recognizing his error in calling Ortega out at second, called time, ending the play.
Manager Mike Shildt came out on the field to argue that Ortega was out, but the umpires held firm that the play was dead and Shildt was eventually ejected. Ortega and Romine were left on second and third with two outs (Schwindel was automatically out on the infield fly rule).
The error didn’t matter in the end as the next batter struck out and the game was over with the Cardinals winning 4-2.
Tyler O’Neill was 2-for-5 with an RBI on the afternoon. Bader and Goldschmidt each had an RBI.
Jake Woodford got the start for the Cardinals, and he pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on six hits, struck out one and walked two. Andrew Miller tossed 2/3 scoreless innings. Kodi Whitley threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Genesis Cabrera pitched 2/3 scoreless innings, and Giovanny Gallegos threw a scoreless ninth to earn his 14th save. Cabrera was awarded the win, his fourth.
On the base paths, O’Neill stole his 14th base of the season.
The Cardinals continued their hot ways with an 8-0 week that included two four-game sweeps of the Brewers and the Cubs on the road. The Cardinals current winning streak stands at 16 games with six more to play in the regular season.
The 7-game week contained a couple of nail biters and some drama. The drama was predictably during the series with the Cubs. No brawls, but one ejection. Also, some fantastic defense including a seven-digit double play that resembles a phone number. In the eighth inning of the Saturday game the Cardinals turned a 3-2-5-4-2-8-6 double play. Yes, indeed an outfielder was involved. Guess who.
The drama occurred in the ninth inning of the Sunday game against the Cubs. It involved the play that no one understands, including some umpires, the infield fly rule. An umpire made an incorrect call that hurt the Cardinals but, as we all know, umpires are always right, even when they are wrong. Fortunately, it ended without major damage thanks to a fortuitous strikeout. Mike Shildt was ejected for arguing about the wrongness of the umpires. No surprise there.
Winning is good, especially when the offense is clicking on all cylinders and the pitching is good enough to help the offense and defense win the game. Such was the week for the Cardinals. There were some pitching hiccups. Wainwright had a poor start against the Brewers. Jack Flaherty couldn’t get out of the first inning against the Cubs. The good news is that Dakota Hudson is back, and he pitched well.
Speaking of the offense, it was very good. The only low scoring game was the second game of the Brewers series on Tuesday. The top offensive performers for the week by OPS were Harrison Bader (1.548), Paul Goldschmidt (1.339), Tyler O’Neill (.925), Dylan Carlson (.868), and Nolan Arenado (.836). Non- regular performers were Jose Rondon (1.600 in five at-bats), Lars Nootbaar (1.417 in 12 at-bats), and Matt Carpenter (.900 in four at-bats).
The Cardinals begin their final homestand on Tuesday with three games against the Brewers and three games against the Cubs. The Cardinals’ magic number to clinch the second Wild Card spot is 1, so one win or one loss by the next team behind the Cardinals will put them in the catbird seat. The Brewers, though they have clinched the Division, will likely still be smarting from the sweep and no doubt will give their all to win, even if just for revenge and nothing else. The Cubs are always gunning for the Cardinals. The motivation to continue the streak may be enough, but the Cardinals should not let up, even though they only need to win one game. Keep the hot streak going into October.
NL Central Standings
Team W L Pct GB WCGB
Trade and Acquisition Rumors.
There are no trade or acquisition rumors to report.
- 9/20 The Cardinals designated RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon for assignment.
- 9/20 The Cardinals recalled LHP Brandon Waddell from the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/22 The Cardinals sent RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon outright to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/24 The Cardinals optioned RHP Jake Woodford to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/24 The Cardinals optioned LHP Brandon Waddell to the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/24 The Cardinals activated RHP Dakota Hudson from the 60-day injured list.
- 9/24 The Cardinals activated RHP Jack Flaherty from the 10-day injured list.
- 9/24 The Cardinals granted RHP Daniel Ponce de Leon his unconditional release.
- 9/25 The Cardinals placed RHP Justin Miller on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.
- 9/25 The Cardinals recalled RHP Jake Woodford from the Memphis Redbirds.
- 9/25 The Cardinals sent RHP Jordan Hicks on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds.
- RHP Jordan Hicks (right elbow inflammation) remains on the 60-day injured list. The right-hander was sent to the Spring Training complex in Jupiter to face live hitters. On Sept 25 it was announced that Hicks was sent on a rehab assignment to the Memphis Redbirds. The rehab assignment did no go well, as Hicks gave up three runs in the first inning without recording an out. No announcement has been made about any subsequent rehab assignments. It was announced that Hicks will be one of several players sent to the Arizona Fall League, which begins on October 13. It is unlikely the right-hander will pitch with St. Louis in 2021.
- 2B Max Moroff (left shoulder subluxation) remains on the 60-day injured list after suffering a shoulder injury in a batting practice session. Moroff had surgery on the shoulder and is out for the rest of the season.
- RHP Dakota Hudson (Tommy John surgery) was activated from the 60-day injured list on Sept 24 and made a 3 2/3 innings relief appearance in the second game of the doubleheader with the Cubs on Friday.
- RHP Carlos Martinez (right thumb ligament sprain) had surgery on July 16 to repair his thumb ligament and is out for the season. Martinez is on the final year of his contract, and though the team holds options for 2022 and 2023, they are not expected to pick them up.
- LHP Wade LeBlanc (left elbow pain) remains on the 10-day injured list. The left-hander is set to undergo a procedure on his left elbow, making a return this season impossible. LeBlanc will be a free agent at season’s end. The Cardinals may offer LeBlanc a minor league deal to return in 2022 if he does not sign a major league deal elsewhere.
- RHP Ryan Helsley (right elbow stress reaction), was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept 1. The move signaled an end to Helsley’s season.
- RHP Jack Flaherty (right shoulder strain) was activated from the 10-day injured list on Sept 24 and started the second game of the Friday doubleheader against the Cubs and threw 19 pitches in the first inning of the game. The right-hander will be used in a limited capacity to build back up before October.
- RHP Junior Fernandez (right lat strain) was transferred to the 60-day injured list on Sept 12. Scans revealed a Grade 2 lat strain and the injury is serious enough that his season is most likely over.
- RHP Justin Miller (right elbow strain) was placed on the 10-day injured list on Sept 25. This is Miller’s second elbow issue in the second half of the season. Miller will not be shut down from throwing but will rest in an effort to be ready for the postseason.
- SS Edmundo Sosa (right wrist) was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the sixth inning of the first game of Friday’s doubleheader against the Cubs. Tests showed no fracture in the wrist, but Sosa has been held out of the remainder of the games in Chicago. He is expected to be out 3-5 days but will hopefully avoid the injured list.
The team has an off day on Monday following the final game of the Cubs series at Wrigley Field. The Cardinals return to St. Louis for the final week of the regular season for a six-game homestand.
The team will play the Brewers in a three-game series beginning Tuesday. Adam Wainwright is set to make the Tuesday start. The pitchers for the final two games of the series have not been announced.
The Cubs will arrive on Friday to play a weekend series to end the regular season of play.
The Cardinals regular season schedule can be found here.
Blast from the Past.
This week, in honor of the Cardinals 16 game winning streak, Blast from the Past looks at past Cardinals winning streaks throughout history.
The 2021 Cardinals currently hold the franchise record for winning streaks at 16 games. The former record holder was the 1935 Cardinals, who had a 14-game winning streak. That winning streak began on July 2 with a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates by the score of 7-0. The Cardinals beat the Cubs in the next two games, 5-3 and 6-4. The Cardinals moved on to the Cincinnati Reds, beating them 4-2, 9-4 and 5-1. Next up was the Philadelphia Phillies, who the Cardinals defeated in four games, 5-4, 4-0, 5-1, and 10-1. Finally, the Cardinals beat the Boston Braves in four games, 13-6, 2-1, 2-1, and 13-3. The streak ended after the 13-3 win on July 18.
The following are a list of double-digit winning streaks with the year of the streak, the period of the streak, the teams, and the scores. Some of the streaks contained doubleheaders.
1982 – 12 game streak beginning April 11 and ending April 24. Pirates (7-6, 5-4); Cubs (4-3, 3-1, 6-1); Phillies (3-2, 6-0, 6-5); Pirates again (7-4, 6-2); Phillies again (9-2, 7-4)
1943 – 12 game streak beginning July 18 and ending July 27. Pirates (7-4, 6-5); New York Giants (3-1, 14-6, 6-2, 1-0); Boston Braves (3-0, 5-1, 7-3, 6-3); Phillies (6-2, 5-2)
2001 – 11 game streak beginning August 9 and ending August 19. Montreal Expos (9-6); Mets (7-6, 6-3, 4-1); Reds (3-2, 7-1, 8-4, 8-3); Phillies (4-3, 6-3, 9-0)
1941 – 11 game winning streak beginning May 21 and ending May 30. Brooklyn Dodgers (9-3, 7-6); Pirates (2-1, 10-7, 6-4, 4-3); Cubs (12-11, 3-2, 6-5); Reds (10-9, 4-1)
2001 – 10 game winning streak beginning May 7 and ending May 17. Pirates (7-0, 8-2, 6-2, 11-5); Cubs (7-2, 5-2, 13-4); Pirates (8-3, 3-0, 12-2)
1963 – 10 game winning streak beginning Sept 9 and ending Sept 15. Pirates (6-5, 3-2); Cubs (6-0, 8-0, 4-0, 8-3); Milwaukee Braves (7-0, 3-2, 3-2, 5-0)
1952 – 10 game winning streak beginning June 30 and ending July 10. Reds (7-3, 8-3, 3-0); Cubs (4-1, 13-7, 4-1); Pirates (5-0, 6-5, 6-4); Phillies (10-3)
1941 – 10 game winning streak beginning April 25 and ending May 5. Reds (8-4); Cubs (6-2, 8-5); New York Giants (5-4, 6-4, 5-0); Phillies (4-2, 6-0); Boston Braves (3-1, 5-1)
1939 – 10 game winning streak beginning July 30 and ending August 9. Brooklyn Dodgers (5-2, 5-2); Boston Bees (4-3, 5-1, 4-3); Phillies (9-8, 5-1, 11-0, 8-3); Pirates (5-3)
1921 – 10 game winning streak beginning June 4 and ending June 13. Phillies (11-9, 7-4, 11-0); Brooklyn Robins (14-5, 4-2, 8-3, 8-3); New York Giants (8-3, 4-3, 10-1)
Other winning streaks were 9 games (15) and 8 games (30) in franchise history. The most recent 9 game streak was in 2004 from August 27 through Sept 5. The most recent 8 game streak was in 2018 from August 7 to August 15.
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