Today was a good day at Busch, but I’d be lying if I said my heart wasn’t pounding for a small chunk of the contest.
The Dodgers got on the board first, with J.D. Martinez doubling home Mookie Betts and Will Smith, taking a 2-0 lead.
It wouldn’t be long before the Cardinals retaliated, with Willson Contreras unloading for his first of two three-run homers to give St. Louis a 3-2 lead; the boys in Red never looked back.
The assault continued in the third inning, with Juan Yepez uncorking for a solo shot of his own. It was pivotal for the burgeoning corner outfielder looking to retain a spot on the big league squad.
Nolan Gorman must’ve derived inspiration from his teammate because he decided to follow suit with a dinger of his own.
Paul DeJong continues his stellar comeback performance this year, as he capped the third inning by hitting the third consecutive homer by a Cardinal, and the fourth overall. After three, St. Louis led 6-2.
In the fourth inning, the Cardinals flexed some savvy baserunning, as Oscar Mercado was able to swipe home on a double steal and error by Will Smith.
Nolan Arenado has continued to scorch the ball, launching his sixth dinger in seven games and extending the lead to 9-2. We all owe him an apology because he’s now on pace to meet expectations for the season (3-4 WAR).
The sixth inning proved to be a test for the Cardinals, as the Dodgers began to mount a comeback, kicked off by former Marlin Miguel Rojas who drove in Miguel Vargas on a single.
The biggest thump of the night for the Dodgers came in the form of Freddie Freeman, who crushed his 300th career home run in style with a scathing grand slam to center. The future Hall of Famer finished the affair 2-5 with a triple, notching the two most difficult legs of the cycle. It was now 9-7 St. Louis.
Max Muncy continued to chip away at the Redbird lead, socking a solo job of his own to cut the lead to one.
This would prove to be all Los Angeles had left in the tank, because the Cardinals had one last offensive encore performance planned for the eigth. After Andre Jackson fanned three Cardinals through three innings, Dave Roberts rolled the dice and stuck with his mop-up man for a fourth inning of work. This proved to be costly, as after three shutdown frames, Jackson ran out of gas. St. Louis capitalized, as Lars Nootbaar managed his first knock of the game to right field. Brendan Donovan scored, securing the Redbirds some much-needed insurance. The score was now 10-8.
Oscar Mercado had himself a day on the basepaths as he came around to score again, this time on a wild pitch to make it 11-8.
Willson Contreras was the man of the night, coming up big with his second round-tripper of the game and delivering the knockout punch.
However, it was Nolan Gorman had the final word of the game, uncorking his second homer of the game to double up the Dodgers 16-8.
Chris Stratton came in to shut the door in the ninth, putting together a 1-2-3 to seal the deal. With the victory, St. Louis now moves within six games of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, and are four and a half games out of first. They are 8-2 in their last ten games.
Steven Matz (0-4, 5.62 ERA) takes the bump tomorrow against 2022 All-Star Tony Gonsolin (1-1, 1.42 ERA) as the Cardinals continue their uphill climb in the National League Central.
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