Another day, another come from behind win for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Only Thursday night’s 8-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals didn’t require feline intervention.
Now sitting a mere 1 game back behind the NL Central leading Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals keep inching back into a race that was never expected to involve them.
Some thoughts on Thursday’s game:
1. Apparently Lance Lynn is some kind of cyborg. The man took a batted ball off his head at 105 mph and stayed in the game. Most guys would consider themselves fortunate if they could just walk to the dugout after a hit like that.
In fact, Lynn managed to go a full six innings allowing only two earned runs.
As Matheny & Co. headed back to the dugout, I couldn’t help but think how it’s moments like that which made me fall in love with this game.
I’m glad they didn’t move Lynn. It’s entirely possible that without him in the mix, this team wouldn’t be sitting where they are now. He’s rapidly becoming the most consistent starter on this staff. He may not have the filthiest stuff or the biggest name, but when Lynn comes to the mound you know what you’re going to get.
There’s a dollar value for that.
2. The Cardinals had ample opportunity to let Thursday’s game slip through the cracks. An error by Kolten Wong on a super difficult play led to a brief meltdown, but they seemed to just let it bounce off. A ball hit deep into right field off the bat of Royals right fielder Melky Cabrera bounced of the thumb of Jose Martinez’ glove. He covered a lot of ground to get to it, but I still feel like most right fielders would’ve made that catch. But again, they didn’t seem to shaken by the two-run triple.
3. The Cardinals didn’t score early, as they have been doing during most of this recent stretch. In fact, they were down 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The team scored in three separate innings, a stat which fares very well for this team — especially over the last week.
Instead of putting up a two-run inning and a bunch of zeros, they seem to be consistently stringing together hits while not letting three outs mean the end of the night’s offense.
4. How can anyone not like Dexter Fowler. The guy works his tail off and almost always while wearing the happiest smile I’ve seen on this team all year. He’s a good personality for a clubhouse that has seen it’s share of struggles this year.
When that same guy can blast a game-changing grand slam and string together five of the team’s 8 RBI, well that’s just icing on the cake.
5. For some reason, runners keep trying to steal (or sleep on) Yadier Molina. It hasn’t worked for a decade and there’s no reason to expect that to be any different now.
There’s a reason only 38 bases have been stolen on the Cardinals all season (fewest in MLB), and that’s because it doesn’t work.
Most teams got this memo long ago. Apparently the Royals overlooked it. If you don’t have Billy Hamilton’s speed, stop unnecessarily sending your base runners back to the dugout.
6. Has Trevor Rosenthal ever looked better on the mound? The Rosenthal we’re watching now takes me back to his rookie season when he was borderline unhittable.
Relievers never get credit when things are going well ¬— only blamed when they have a bad night.
Rosenthal has 74 strikeouts in 46.2 innings. That’s impressive.
Since the Cardinals managed to pull off the four game sweep, they’ll have the chance to continue their six game winning streak against the Atlanta Braves (51-61). With their next stop in Boston and the Cubs still losing, the Cardinals can’t afford to stop adding Ws.
They have a chance to pull this run off, they just can’t let up.
Corey Noles has covered the Cardinals and MLB for a variety of publications and outlets since 2011. Find him on Twitter @coreynoles, or via email at email@example.com.