The St. Louis Cardinals seemingly stunned the New York Yankees with a dominant three-game sweep.
The Cardinals looked like a revived and improved team in their sweep of the New York Yankees, 4-3 on Friday, 1-0 on Saturday, and 12-9 on Sunday.
It’s safe to say most believed the three-game set between the Cardinals and Yankees would be exciting. Not many would have had the Cardinals showing out and taking charge of the series. But with a couple of steady players making their comebacks and a new pitcher eager to please in his debut, Cardinal fans got a pleasant surprise.
Let’s look at three things we learned about the Cardinals from this sweep.
3. Jordan Montgomery is an excellent addition to the rotation.
Montgomery was the surprise of the trade deadline for the Yankees and the Cardinals. Harrison Bader didn’t appear to be on the trade-away radar. Montgomery was pitching for the first-place Yankees, who would have guessed they would trade off a starter.
Cardinals fans are glad they did!
Montgomery earned his first win for the Cardinals and is now 4-3 on the season. He pitched five innings on Saturday, giving up two hits and a walk, while striking out one. According to Baseball Reference, 73.3-percent of his pitches in Saturday’s outing induced ground ball outs.
Cardinals starting pitching has been on the dramatic side lately so it was great to see a pitcher have a dominant outing like Montgomery. Other than a moment where training staff had to visit him on the mound due to discomfort related to the heat and humidity of summer, Montgomery had a great outing for the Cardinals the team hopes he will continue into the coming weeks.
2. Paul DeJong’s comeback came at the perfect time.
DeJong had a terrible start to his 2022 season. After being demoted to AAA Memphis, DeJong appeared to have figured out what was ailing him. While many had him on the trade block or worse, the Cardinals appear to have trusted DeJong to figure things out and make a comeback.
Their gamble appears to have paid off.
On Friday, DeJong knocked the game winning double in the eighth inning off of Clay Holmes driving in Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill. And on Sunday, he was 2-for-4 with two walks, three runs and four RBI. In the fifth inning, DeJong knocked a double to right field, scoring Lars Nootbaar.
And in eighth inning, DeJong drove in the game winning runs with his fourth home run of the season. The opposite field fly to left field off Scott Effross scoring Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill.
DeJong’s comeback has been spectacular to watch with the hopes he keeps channelling that rediscovered mojo.
1. Yadier Molina is the captain of this team.
After several weeks on the injured list due to knee issues, Molina made his triumphant return from his stint on the injured list that took him back home to Puerto Rico. Since then, the team’s mood has dramatically improved.
The Cardinals seemingly quiet leader on the field and in the clubhouse is back and his presence is noted. Whether it’s helping his pitching staff block out the outside interferences or cheering his teammates at the plate or making their way around the base pathes, it’s easy to see Molina’s influence.
These are the last weeks of Molina’s career as a Cardinal. It’s easy to see the future Hall of Famers teammates want these last few weeks to be ones to remember.