The Runner Sports

After A Tough Week, A Sweep Snaps Cardinals’ Streak


Over the course of 162 games, every team has its ups and downs. Perhaps no team has exemplified that as much as the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals.

After losing seven straight games on the road, and dropping from second to fourth place, the beleaguered club got healthy at the expense of Major League Baseball’s worst team. Returning home to Busch Stadium, the Cardinals (now 29-32) completed a three-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, 6-5.

St. Louis and starter Adam Wainwright fell behind 2-0 early, until Dexter Fowler’s three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth turned the tables. The Redbirds added two more an inning later, and then held off the Phillies the rest of the way. Second baseman Kolton Wong had two doubles and an RBI double for St. Louis.

Wainwright (7-4) went five innings, and the Cardinals’ bullpen held down a late Philadelphia hitting surge to secure the victory. Closer Seung Hwan Oh scuffled through a rocky ninth, but eventually nailed things down for his 15th save of the season.

In a bit of statistical irony, Fowler –who is the Cardinals’ everyday lead-off hitter– has given the club a lead with eight of his nine home runs. The free agent signee has 24 runs batted in this season.

“Dexter supplied the big hit,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said after the game. “We had guys on base, creating traffic, and when we needed someone to do something special, Dex did it.

“I don’t care where (the offense) comes from, as long as there’s guys on base. It doesn’t have to be the top of the order. We’ve had guys hitting down in the lineup that have been getting on base and making things happen, too.”

Matheny said the three-game sweep was a sign that his team knows how to battle back from a rough stretch.

“It certainly feels a whole lot better,” the skipper commented. “Two of those games, we were coming right down to the wire, and it showed some fight and a belief in each other. That’s the kinds of things we’re going to have to do the rest of the way.

“We just took a little bit of everything from everyone, and it was one of those great series, collectively, as a club.”

After a manic start and a jam-packed early season schedule, the Cardinals will have a much-needed day off Monday, before resuming play back at Busch in a day-night double-header against the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday.

“We’ve got that day off tomorrow, and then we’ll start thinking about Milwaukee,” Matheny said. “I’m just proud of the way these guys bounced back. That’s the kind of toughness you only get through adversity.”



SLAP HITS: On Saturday, Carlos Martinez picked up a 7-0 shutout victory while striking out 11 batters…

Martinez was clocked at over 100 mph in the ninth inning of his complete game win…

Coming into Sunday’s game, third basemen Jedd Gyorko was hitting .312 while only committing three errors…

Even though he sees limited playing time, the team is 8-2 when backup catcher Eric Fryer starts…

Seung Hwan Oh has now converted 15 of 18 save opportunities on the year.





GAME 1:  Lance Lynn (4-3) vs. Jimmy Nelson (4-3) 1:15 PM CT

GAME 2: Marco Gonzales (0-0) vs. Paolo Espino (0-0) 7:15 PM CT


Ryan Boman

Ryan Boman

Editor in Chief at
Syndicated columnist & feature writer whose work has appeared in The Miami Herald, AdWeek, SB Nation and
Ryan Boman