So this is what it feels like to recap a game the St. Louis Cardinals won? It is nice. A breath of fresh air.
Don’t look now, but the Cardinals have put together a little five-game winning streak. Seriously, don’t look, because they are still ten games under .500, but they have to start somewhere. While the Nationals were not a good team, the Miami Marlins have a winning record and the Cardinals are putting together solid wins. They have a long way to go before we start discussing anything more, but right now I’ll just take the wins.
So how did they win this game? The biggest factor was putting together 11 hits on the day. Nolan Arenado stayed hot with a two-hit day. He had a rough start to the season, but has been able to climb out of it. As of June 1 he was hitting for a 101 wRC+, and that was actually after he had started to hit better. In the month of June he hit for a 159 wRC+ and even better in the month of July with a 204 wRC+. He singled in Paul Goldschmidt in the bottom of the first for the Cardinals first run of the day.
The other story of the game is coincidentally the other Nolan of the game, Nolan Gorman. He hit a tasty hanging changeup from Sandy Alcantara 105 mph and 419 feet in the stands for a three-run homer to give the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. He also hit a single in the bottom of the eighth to give the Cardinals a 6-2 lead.
Dakota Hudson started the game and gave up two-runs off five hits in three innings. He was replaced by Zack Thompson, who earned the win after two scoreless innings. Ryan Tepera replaced Andre Pallante who had pitched two and two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball for his second appearance with the Cardinals. Tepera got the strikeout from Jorge Solar to end the inning and then began the eighth by giving up a homer to Bryan De La Cruz on a slider down the middle of the plate. He settled in and coaxed the next three outs to finish the inning.
The Marlins earned their fourth run of the game off Chris Stratton on something that does not seem like a big deal, but kind of seems questionable — at least enough that I want to bring it up. With the Cardinals holding on to a 6-3 lead, Garrett Hampson began the inning with a single. Stratton got the next two outs, but the Hampson was allowed to take second base on “defensive indifference.” He then came around to score on a Luis Arraez double to make the game 6-4. In a way, I understand it because that run doesn’t matter, but I think the score is a bit too close to just give bases away. It seems like they should have been paying more attention to the runner, but what do you all think?
Tomorrow the Cardinals start a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. With both teams being at the point they are at, it feels like a big series for them. I guess every game is pretty important if a team is to crawl out of this big of a hole, but even more so if a win for the Cardinals also means a loss for the team they are chasing. Will this energy keep rolling into this series or is momentum only as strong as the next game’s starter? We will find out!