I have to admit, earlier tonight I did not expect to be here writing such a spirited recap. But things can change quickly. Such was the case tonight. After early home runs by Tommy Edman and Juan Yepez put the Cardinals up 2-0, Miles Mikolas began to falter and ultimately allowed six runs, which put the team in a 6-2 hole.
Then came the seventh inning. There were two outs and the Cardinals were slowly keeping the line moving. When Edman walked to load the bases for Paul Goldschmidt, I felt a little bit like Hawkeye saying “Don’t do that. Don’t give me hope.” But hope was exactly what we needed. Goldschmidt walked and set the stage for Nolan Arenado’s bases-clearing double, which tied the game.
In the ninth inning, Nolan Gorman got things going with a go-ahead home run. Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill followed with base hits of their own to make it 9-6. Ryan Helsley made it a little interesting, but he worked around back-to-back hits and sealed the deal. Here are a few takeaways from tonight’s epic comeback win.
Same Old, Same Old
While I’m thrilled with the outcome of the game, there were some things that gave me pause. But since we’re all feeling good now, let’s get the bad part out of the way so we can focus on other things. Miles Mikolas got off to a good start. He worked around some early trouble. But it all came crashing down in the fifth inning. I didn’t think much of Elias Diaz’s home run, until Ryan McMahon hit a three-run shot to put the Rockies ahead. Soon enough, it was 6-2, and Cardinal Nation was holding its collective breath.
By saying that the Cardinals should have added pitching this offseason, we’re beating a dead horse. Everyone is aware of that by now. But in the meantime, the Cardinals may want to shuffle their rotation a little, and even consider calling up somebody like Matthew Liberatore to shake things up.
The Offense Finally Woke Up
Like I had been saying, it was only a matter of time before the bats woke up. They had been getting plenty of hits, but the timely hits had eluded them. Not tonight.
Tonight was different. The Cardinals flexed their power muscle with three home runs and got hits with runners in scoring position. In fact, Tyler O’Neill’s single in the ninth was his first hit with runners in scoring position all season. We finally got another glimpse of what the Cardinals offense can be if they can get the big hits, and I think soon, we’ll be seeing a lot more of this, especially late in games.
Jordan Walker also continued his hit streak, bumping it up to 11 games and putting himself one back of tying Eddie Murphy’s record from 1912. It’s a different Eddie Murphy, by the way.
Bullpen Looked Sharp
One area I’m not concerned about is the bullpen, save for Jordan Hicks. I got a little nervous when Genesis Cabrera came in to pitch, but he did a pretty good job, pitching an inning and two thirds of scoreless baseball. Giovanny Gallegos also got the job done, following in Cabrera’s footsteps with an inning and a third without allowing a run.
Again, Helsley made it a little bit interesting, but I was impressed to see him work around those back-to-back hits and keep the Rockies in check, especially at a hitter’s haven like Coors Field. And in fitting fashion, he ended things with a 101-MPH heater.
Now 4-7, the Cardinals will try for a series win tomorrow. Jack Flaherty will face Jose Urena, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:10 p.m. I think it’s safe to say the Cardinals needed this one, and we can only hope that they keep those good vibes rolling tomorrow.