ATLANTA — MLB’s first 90-win team, the Braves have made most of the season by leading all of baseball with a . 275 average, 263 home runs, and 768 RBIs heading into Wednesday’s game.
The Cardinals got an early peek at what was to come this season for the Braves, as they were swept by Atlanta at Busch Stadium in a three-game series from April 3-5. Not only did the Braves outscore the Redbirds, 17-7, in that series, but they hit six home runs to send the Cardinals reeling.
Now, six months later, with the Braves heading toward maintaining baseball’s best record and highest postseason rating in the National League and the Cardinals in their first 90-loss season since 1978, St. Louis has incredibly turned the scenario on Atlanta.
The night after winning, pitching 10 runs, and pounding 12 hits and four home runs against Atlanta, the Cardinals hit NL Cy Young Award nominee Spencer Strider for six early runs and hit four home runs throughout their 11-6 win over the Homer-Happy Braves at Truist Park.
“Their offense is probably the best in the league and probably the best we’ve seen in years or decades, or even longer than that,” said Paul Goldschmidt, who hit two seven-pointer home runs in the game against Strider. “As a fan of the game, it’s really impressive what these (brave) guys are doing. Luckily, we’ve been able to do some similar things up front.
“(The Cardinals pitchers) limited the damage because that’s all you can hope to do against these (brave) guys. They’ll score some runs, but we didn’t give them free passes, extra hits or extra basemen, and that resulted in two wins. Hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
The Cardinals have scored more than 10 home runs in consecutive games for the first time since September 12-13, 2019, in Colorado and at home against the Brewers. The fact that St. Louis did it on Wednesday against Stryder—who was seeking to become its first game-winner in 17 games—made the feat even more impressive.
“This is a really good club on the other hand, and even when you have a five-round lead you don’t feel good about it and you need to keep adding and hitting back because you know they’re coming,” Cards manager. Oliver Marmol said. “I feel like our guys had a really good approach from the start against their first-choice player. From one to nine, we did really well.
Once up 6-0 and 7-2 after rookie Masyn Winn’s first MLB home run, the Cardinals saw their worst nightmares come true in the sixth inning after the Braves rallied the score, 7-5, with NL MVP candidate Ronald Acuña Jr. on the plate. However, saver Casey Lawrence continued to show grit and throw the strikes the Cards admired and sent Acuña into a double play at the end of the inning.
“I mean, I just want to keep the ball on the ground and give our defense a chance,” Lawrence said. “We’re very good across the board (defensively) on the pitch, and I knew my chances were pretty high if I could keep him on the ground.” One of them passed (a hit by Michael Harris II), and I wasn’t happy about that, but I managed to rebound and get out. vs. Acuña.”
As they have over the past two nights, the Cardinals responded to each Braves rally with long balls of their own. Wilson Contreras hit his 17th home run in the seventh, and left fielder Nolan Gorman pounced on an 0-2 slider in the middle of the plate for his 27th home run. Gorman has single-handedly commanded the team in home runs with his three clinches the past two nights.
“This was a really big attempt (by Gorman) to get these insurances for a lot of reasons,” Marmol said. “At the top and bottom of the lineup, I think we’ve responded too well and too little.”
The Cardinals came into Wednesday having scored 305 of 625 runs (48.8 percent) on home runs. To put that into perspective, the Braves hit 424 of 795 (53.3 percent) on long balls. On Wednesday, the Redbirds pushed seven of their 11 runs through the home side and fed the Braves a taste of their own medicine.
“It’s pretty cool what our offense does,” said Wayne, who got a post-game trip to the bathroom where he was poured with juice and condiments to celebrate his first homer in MLB. “Personally, I was struggling and, in general, we were struggling. But those last two games got heated. To run like we did was great for us.
(tags for translation) MLB