BOSTON — If the Cardinals hang on and somehow reverse their worst start in 50 years to complete their 16th straight winning season and dominate their division for the second time, they will undoubtedly return to their old ways. week as a key turning point.
Beating the rival Cubs three times at Wrigley Field and sweeping the Red Sox in the last three games of the series at Fenway Park didn’t seem like the Cardinals’ season was going anywhere fast. Just a week ago. After rallying past Boston in the ninth inning of consecutive games, the Cardinals with Nolan Arenado, Paul DeJong and Andrew Knysner cruised home with a 9-1 victory and the franchise’s first sweep of the Red Sox on Sunday.
“This reminds us that we’re a playoff team even if we’re off to a bad start, the talent is there, and we’re a very good baseball team,” said Miles Mikolas, who limited the Red Sox to one run, four hits and two walks over six. innings on Sunday. “A good road trip like that helps and it’s big for us to come back late in games and show we have what it takes when the game is on the line.”
No one was more impressed than Arenado, a superstar who went 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI on Sunday, during an earlier sweep of the surging Red Sox. In the series, Arenado homered three times, was hit in seven of 14 at-bats and drove in seven runs.
Arenado said he feels personally responsible for the Cardinals’ poor play in April after enduring the worst starts to his career. But after helping the Cardinals sweep Boston and hitting well in one of his favorite parks thanks to the Green Monster’s big hit in left field, Arenado believes the team’s performance last week was more representative of his talent. List of names.
“Obviously we have to take this back home against a division rival in Milwaukee and LA, who is playing good ball, but this was a great road trip for us,” Arenado said. “We want this and we have to show that we can play this kind of football. We hope to continue.
Despite the start that put them 10 games out of the lead in the National League Central, the Cardinals felt they weren’t that far out of control. With so many shaky starts early in the season, hitting, slapping and a leaky bullpen, St. Louis seemed to find ways to lose heartbreakers through extended stretches. The low point, obviously, was an eight-game skid — which included back-to-back sweeps by the Dodgers and Angels — who suddenly won six of seven games before this rebound.
“It’s big to get back on track and the way we did against two good teams and a really good style of play,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “I know I’ve said it many times, but the clubhouse is trusting each other, and that’s a big part of it all. So, a really positive road trip, for sure.
St. Louis came alive late in the game and rallied for three runs in Kenley Johnson’s ninth inning to beat the Red Sox on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the Cards left little doubt, hitting 14 shots and hitting two of their three long balls against the Green Monster, needing no rally. Lars Notbar had a three-hit night from the leadoff spot, leaving DeJong (second-inning leadoff home run), Alec Burleson (two hits in relief of the injured Dylan Carlson) and Knijner (two hits, including a .432 at-bat at 106.8 mph, per Statcast He contributed a walk-off homer in the bottom of the lineup.
“Finally, we’re getting some momentum, everybody’s playing well, guys are hitting, and our pitching is good,” said Knijner, who will return to a backup role Monday with Willson Contreras returning to the starting role. “The last few games we’ve been as a team — pitching a complete game over nine innings and attacking every pitch.”
“When we get back on track, the Cardinals have the feel of a team that can bounce back from their terrible start,” Mikolas said.
“We’re winning games and we’re happy,” Mikolas said. “We are tired of being sad because no one likes to be sad. I think it’s gotten to a point where we’re tired and we’re tired of losing. You have to finish the job. And that’s what we did.