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The Cardinals win three out of four against the Dodgers, it's safe to say they're back

St. Louis has won 11 of their last 14 and are leading the league in runs scored during that span.

ST. LOUIS — On May 6, the St. Louis Cardinals hit their lowest point of the season. They had just lost their eighth straight game, their record had fallen to 10-24, and they were ten games back in the National League Central standings.

Now, the Cardinals are coming off a strong performance against the Los Angeles Dodgers in which they won three out of four games—the Dodgers swept them in three games during their eight-game losing streak. St. Louis has won 11 of their last 14 games, has won four series in a row, and is now 21-27 while sitting in third place in the National League Central. Even with that record, they’re only five games behind first-place Milwaukee.

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On the latest episode of the Locked On Cardinals podcast, host JD Hafron discussed their weekend against the Dodgers, looked ahead to the series against the last-place Cincinnati Reds, and talked about a guy people may have given up on too easily - shortstop Paul DeJong.

Hafron went through all the numbers of all the other big-name shortstops in Major League Baseball who are getting paid way more than DeJong and joked about how Cardinals fans were complaining about his “giant” $9M/year salary—He signed a six-year deal for $26M that ends after this season. But DeJong is finally stepping it up in 2023. He’s batting .282/.364/.590 with seven home runs and 14 runs batted in with a .953 OPS in 23 games—DeJong was rehabbing from a back injury he suffered in Spring Training and was called up on April 23.

Hafron joked, “I’m not going to speak for everyone else, but at this moment, I personally, JD Hafron, would like to apologize to Paul Dejong, to John Mozeliak, to Oli Marmol, and the rest of the coaching staff for not believing in their decision to hang on to Paul DeJong. I thought they should cut bait, get rid of him, and leave that spot open for somebody else.” Hafron went on to explain how DeJong had a few bad years after the contract was signed and that it was nothing personal.

It’s not just DeJong that has turned the Cardinals around. Nolan Arenado had a rough start to the season, but in this most recent series against the Dodgers he had at least a hit in every game, with three on Sunday and a home run in the wild 16-8 victory on Thursday. Paul Goldschmidt is doing better and playing more like an MVP and overall, the Cardinals' offense has scored 101 runs in their last 14 games and is averaging 7.2 runs a game.

They’re also getting better pitching performances out of their starters, and remember that whole Willson Contreras debacle in which the team announced he wasn’t going to be catching anymore? Well, that resolved itself during this latest tear. He's catching again and they're winning.

We wondered last week if the Cardinals were turning things around after they had swept the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park. It’s safe to say yes, they are turning things around, and maybe people around baseball were too quick to dance on the Cardinals’ grave.

BE SURE to listen and subscribe to Locked On Cardinals wherever you get your podcasts! 

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