The St Louis Cardinals continue to steamroll through the National League by extending their winning streak to 17 games and securing second place in the National League Wild Card with a victory of the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday. Cardinals clinch their third consecutive playoff berth.
Third basemen Nolan Arenado makes his third playoff appearance (2017 and 2018 with the Colorado Rockies). In this first season with the Cardinals, Arenado hoped and expected great outcomes when he joined the Red Birds.
“I’m just thankful to be part of this team,” Arenado said. “This team is unbelievable. We carried each other, and I’m happy to be part of it; this is why I’m here; this is a chance to make the playoffs and to be able to do it on the first year is a great feeling.”
The Cardinals investing in outfielder Tyler O’Neill is paying off. In the last 17 games, O’Neill batted .324, seven home runs, 21 RBIs, and 1,041 OPS. The 26-year old brought extra life to the Cardinals’ offense.
“This is the first year that I’ve had a full season under my belt,” O’Neill said. “Figure some stuff out, go through ups and downs, and be able to make those adjustments that you need to make that are necessary to makeover a consistent .500 at-bat. Figuring out how my abilities work in this league, how to counteract what different pitchers do, and stuff. I feel good up there.”
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is making his fifth postseason appearance. Goldschmidt believes that some midseason moves helped the Cardinals to turn things around and be more consistent.
“I think right around the trade deadline having guys like Jon Lester, J.A. Happ come in, and we saw MacFarlane and Garcia tonight kinda stabilize the entire team, starting rotation, the bullpen,” Goldschmidt said. “We were able to be consistent these last two months, and you can’t be able to predict this 17 in a row, but we were definitely playing well before that.”
Everything is clicking for the Cardinals. Adam Wainwright has 10 wins since the All-Star Break (the most in MLB), and Dylan Carlson has 60 RBIs for the season (the most by a Cardinals rookie switch hitter).
The Cardinals are probably the most dangerous team entering the postseason. Cardinals will play either the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Wild Card Game on October 6th.