Updated: Oct 7, 2021
The Cardinals won their 17th game in a row, enough to secure the second Wild Card spot. The streak would end there, but the Cards were not done. Reaching 90 victories was next.
Let's get ready for the post-season, folks!
Game 1 - September 28, vs. Milwaukee, Cardinals 6 - Brewers 2
The Cardinals entered the game needing a win to eliminate the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies from the Wild Card contention. So, "who you gonna call?" ADAM WAINWRIGHT! It would be the 1st time this year he would not have Yadier Molina behind the plate. The Cardinal backstop had a sore arm.
Wainwright would be undaunted. Scattering seven hits over six innings resulted in two runs. He would walk two and strike out four.
TJ McFarland pitched the seventh, allowing only 1 hit
Luis Garcia handled the eighth walking one and striking out two
Giovanny Gallegos closed the ninth, giving up only one hit.
The Cards pounded out 11 hits, plating 6 runs.
The Brewers opened the scoring in the fourth when Luis Urias hit a two-run homer to left field.
The Cards came right back on a Dylan Carlson solo shot and a Wainwright sac fly.
Keeping their foot on the gas, the Cards scored twice more in the fifth when Tyler O'Neill singled, reached third on an error, and was driven in by a Nolan Arenado sac fly, making it 4-2.
Jose Rondon delivered another pinch-hit home run in the sixth, putting the birds up 5-2.
In the seventh, Arenado would hit a solo shot (he's 34th) to make it 6-2.
The Cards are now 88-69 and clinched the second Wild Card.
The win matches the 17 straight win mark that the then-St Louis Browns achieved in 1885(later they would become perfect in 1899. and then finally the Cardinals in 2000.
Wainwright - 17 is the most wins since he had in a season since 20 wins in 2014.
Arenado - Is now tied for second with Scott Rolen and Fernando Tatis for most home runs by a Cardinal Third Baseman in a season three behind Albert Pujols (37).
Rondon - has 3 home runs, all as a pinch hitter.
Game 2 - September 29, vs. Milwaukee, Brewers 4 - Cardinals 0
All good things must come to an end, and so it was with the Cardinal winning streak. It ended at 17 games, three games more than the modern era streak of 14, and tied with the 1885 St Louis Browns.
Cardinal starter Miles Mikolas allowed three runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He gave only one walk and struck out seven.
Andrew Miller was touched for one run in one and 1/3 innings. He gave up only one hit, one walk, and struck out 3.
Jack Flaherty pitched an inning in relief, giving up one hit, one walk, and striking out.
Luis Garcia finished the game, going one inning and striking out one.
With Yadier Molina still nursing a sore arm, he was rested with Tommy Edman, Nolan Arenado, and Tyler O'Neill.
The remaining Cardinal line-up could only manage 3 hits against Brewers starter Adrian Houser and NONE against the 4 relievers they used.
The Brewers scored a run in the first on an Eduardo Escobar ground out
Two more in the sixth on a Daniel Vogelbach home run.
Manny Pina would homer in the seventh to round out the scoring for Milwaukee.
The loss gives the birds a record of 88-70
McFarland - Left-handed batters are hitting only .176 against him.
Game 3 - September 30, vs. Milwaukee Cardinals 4 - Brewers 3
One day after the losing streak ended, St. Louis comes back to win the next day and take the series. 2 games to 3. Dylan Carlson would hit a home run from each side of the plate, driving in three of the four Cardinal runs. Jose Rondon drove in the other to put the birds back on the winning track.
JA Happ earned his 10th win of the season, his 5th as a Cardinal. He gave up three runs, on 9 hits, no walks, and struck out seven.
Kodi Whitley pitched a shutout inning, walking one, striking out two
TJ McFarland would also pitch one inning, only giving up one walk.
Luis Garcia would get save number 2 after going 2/3 of an inning, striking out two.
Dylan Carlson would be the muscle for this game.
In the second inning, Rondon put the Cards on top with a sac fly.
Luis Urias would tie the game up with a solo home run in the Brewer half of the third.
In the bottom half of the frame, Carlson would untie it with a home run to center field from the plate's right side, putting the birds back on top 2-1.
The Brewers would take the lead 3-2 on singles by Omar Narvaez and Keston Hiura.
In the sixth, Carlson, who tied Stan the Man for most extra-base hits by a Cardinal rookie, passed him and put the birds on top with one swing.
The win gave the Cardinals 18 wins in their last 19 games and making the record 89-70
Cardinals - Adam Wainwright will get the starting nod for the NL Wild Card game vs. the LA Dodgers or SF Giants.
Carlson - It was the second time this year that Carlson has hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. The other time was September 17th vs. San Diego.
Game 4 - October 1, vs. Chicago(NL) Cardinals 4 - Cubs 3
Thursday was Dylan Carlson. Friday, it was Tyler O'Neill's turn to have a game. He would homer twice, Double, steal a base and get an OF assist, throwing out a runner at home. Paul Goldschmidt would add to everything with a walk-off home run.
Dakota Hudson was given the start. The bullpen would bend in the sixth but slam the door after that.
Hudson in his first MLB start, post-Tommy John surgery. His last start was September 17, 2020, in Pittsburgh. He had a relief appearance on Sept 24. Hudson would go 5 strong innings throwing 70 pitches, giving up no runs on three hits, one walk, and four strikeouts.
Genesis Cabrera would start the sixth but only get 2/3 of an inning, giving up 3 walks and 2 earned runs on NO HITS.
TJ. McFarland would come in pitch 1/3 of an inning and give up one run on one hit.
Alex Reyes would pitch an inning giving up two but striking out two as well.
Andrew Miller pitched an inning, walking one striking out two
Giovanny Gallegos would finish the game off, going one inning, no runs on two hits, and get his 6th win.
While Goldy would hit the game-winner, Tyler O'Neill would go 3-4 a double and two homers to pace the offense.
O'Neill would start the scoring in the 1st with a Solo shot to Right Field. in the fourth, he would add yet another solo shot, this time to Left.
Trayce Thompson would homer with two on in the sixth to make it 3-2 Cubs.
Lars Nootbaar would drive home O'Neill, who had doubled and stole third base. To tie the game.
In the ninth, the Cubs would threaten, enter Tyler O'Neill.
In the bottom of the ninth with runners on second and third. Goldy would come through with his only hit of the night.
The win puts St Louis 20 games over the .500 mark 90-70, and the Cardinals and manager Mike Shildt have two full 162 game seasons with 90 or more wins.
Game 5 October 2, vs. Chicago(NL) Cubs 6 - Cardinals 5
The Cardinals scored first, came back once but could not do it twice, falling short in the ninth with the winning run at the plate twice.
Jon Lester gutted out 5 innings giving up four runs on six hits and four walks. He would strike out four.
Kwang Hyun Kim would relieve Lester in the 6th, and he would pitch two innings, give up two hits and one walk but NO runs.
Kodi Whitely would handle the eighth; no runs, hits or walks but would strike out two.
Luis Garcia would come in for the ninth walk one and give up a two-run Homer that put the Cubs on top.
Harrison Bader would score twice, Tyler O'Neill would have two hits, and Dylan Carlson would have two RBIs.
Bader, batting in the leadoff spot for the first time, led off the game with a home run, Center Field, putting the birds up 1-0.
In the fourth, Lester gave up one hit and two walks, and with two outs, Trayce Thompson would hit a shot to Center for a grand slam home run 4-1 Cubbies.
The Cards responded in their half of the fifth when O'Neill would triple to Right Center to drive in a run 4-2.
The Cardinals would take the lead in the seventh. After a Tommy Edman pinch-hit, RBI single, Carlson would single driving two more, giving St Louis a 5-4 lead.
Ian Happ would find a pitch he would like in the ninth and swat a two-run shot, putting Chicago up one 6-5.
A lead-off walk to Jose Rondon gave St Louis hope in the ninth, but the best that would happen was a Matt Carpenter fly ball to the warning track. The loss had little meaning as St Louis is already in the playoffs. Cardinal Manager Mike Shildt is trying to give his big guys in the pen and select regulars some time off as he pulled did not start Edman and pulled Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado in the sixth inning.
Game 6, October 3, vs. Chicago(NL), Cubs 3 - Cardinals 2
This not only marked the end of the regular season but the end of a broadcasting legend.
After 50 years at the microphone announcing Cardinal baseball, Mike Shannon called his last game. It has been reported that Ricky Horton will replace Shannon in the radio booth joining John Rooney on Cardinal radio. During a ceremony before the game, the ordinarily joyful and candid broadcaster was moved to tears. The Radio booth was dedicated to Mike. It is now known as the KMOX Shannon Radio Booth.
When the game got underway, young Jake Woodford would get the honor of the last regular-season start.
He would pitch well, going five relatively strong innings. He gave up three runs on six hits walking only one and striking out four.
Jack Flaherty would pitch a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. He was looking very sharp. What role he will play has yet to be determined, but as Shildt said in the post-game, "we will carry him". he will be on the playoff roster.
TJ McFarland pitched an inning facing three batters and striking out three batters. Alex Reyes would enter the game, but it was called off before throwing a pitch.
While no starter was "benched" at the start, Goldschmidt, Arenado, and O'Neill would be taken out around the 6th inning.
The Cubs scored first on a single by Matt Duffy.
After a day off, Tommy Edman took the first pitch he saw and tied the game with a home run to Right Field.
Edmundo Sosa would put the cards on top when he grounded into a double play in the second inning.
In the fifth, Frank Schwindel would tie the game with a single. Two batters later, Duffy would single to bring in the go-ahead run/winning run. The Cardinals would threaten in the seventh when Sosa walked, and a pitch hit Harrison Bader, but pinch-hitter Lars Nootbaar and leadoff mane Edman would pop to third, and Matt Carpenter would fly out to shallow right.
The redbird season ends at 90-72, 18 games over.500, and is second place in the Central. More importantly, they will play the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, September 6th. Look for my preview of the series coming soon.