Unwavering in his dedication to leaving the bat behind and not letting any outcome — good, bad or worrisome — seep into the lot, Paul Goldschmidt didn’t focus on Monday on the unforgiving math of his four-board debut. He didn’t measure the enormous costs of three hits or the five hits he caused, instead counting the only chance he had to change dramatically.
Goldschmidt knew the only way he would hit in the 10th inning was by loading bases and two sides. This is. If the inning continues, he will have one chance to finish it.
He turned one moment into a big show.
Leading the evening by three strokes and then a double, Goldschmidt ran a 90-mph passer and drilled it into the Grand Slam Tour to fire the Cardinals to a 7-3 win over Toronto. After a run that followed Nolan Arenado’s lining of the left field wall itself caused a premature explosion of fireworks over the Busch Stadium scoreboard, Goldschmidt lit up all the fireworks and melee a home stadium could muster after the Cardinals won the first overtime of the year.
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“Five out of four hitters – that’s not what you want to do,” Goldschmidt said after the match, lowering his chin to fight a smile. “Honestly, I was saying to myself, ‘Play good defense. I might get a chance if that role comes up. Download rules. two outs. It’s my only shot to hit here. (I was) preparing for this attack.”
“Very cool,” he said.
Goldschmidt’s seventh career Grand Slam was the seven that Homer has knocked out in his career and the seventh overtime player in his career. In the game’s last swing, Goldschmidt also extended his base streak to 29 games and his hitting streak to 15 games. Goldschmidt’s Grand Slam was the first to win a match in the Cardinals’ last game since Matt Carpenter in 2017, and that was also against the Blues Jays.
Goldschmidt’s winning kick came ahead of the 10th inning when the player played decisively on the court. Rookie Brendan Donovan, who started all over the field with the Cardinals and had a short cameo, dived into the right field that prevented Toronto from scoring the green light. At the bottom of the inning, the Cardinals got the winning run to third base with no difference. Hazelwood West alum David Phelps froze the feud there, however, and edited a storyline that ends with hitting hitter Albert Pujols and getting two without the runner in the third lead. The assembly stumbled, threatening to stop.
Tommy Edman and Edmundo Sosa revived it with two outings and did exactly what Goldschmidt calculated. He had a fifth strike to make a final impact.
Professionally stoic and dedicated to not letting the struggles of the day turn into a slump this week, Goldschmidt’s presence on the plate meant his teammates tried to reverse him in the dugout.
“We’re on pins and needles,” said junior Miles Mikulas. “I don’t get too mercurial in the dugout. Staying up casual.”
The bowler duel that dictated most of the game veered sharply into a gift-giving spree by the cardinal until it returns to the bulls trying not to blink.
Both starters, Micholas and Jose Berrios of Toronto, imposed the rhythm of their half-innings. Micholas bombarded the strike zone tirelessly through 6 2/3 innings. He hit five and didn’t get into trouble until the last inning and the free rules started. Berrios also reached the Blue Jays’ seventh inning, passing 6 1/3 innings, avoiding walks altogether, and writing off seven. He left with a short-lived lead, and both starters were marked by three runs.
By the end of the fifth inning, the two right-handed players had crossed twice from the opponent’s lineup, faced 18 hitters, and pressed 15 times from them.
What none of the novices did was throw the 70’s.
It’s fine when you’re on defense, but when you hit it’s like, ‘Man, that was a little quick,'” Goldschmidt said.
Mikolas helped bring such speed into the game as soon as he jumped from the first half. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. worked five lanes of Mikulas to push the second hit of the match into the scoring center. In a stalemate before he gets out a second, Mikulas begins flooding the Blue Jays with strikes – and never stops. He had a fly and strike to finish the first half without letting in a run. Mikulas then retired 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced.
Eight of those naysayers couldn’t get the ball off the field.
Few of these hitters have seen more than four pitches.
“There were a few rides I went down for a drink or used the bathroom and walked out and it was like two rooms, two hits,” Micholas said. “Getting my stuff and getting back to work again. I would like to score a lot of runs, but I like when I feel good about not having to sit still for long.”
Mikulas retired six players in order on a total of 20 grounds to make the match in the sixth inning. He only threw 60 throws in total and kept the Blue Jays goalless through five.
His plan 62 ended it.
Greeted every time he came to the plate for his prominent place in the Houston lineup during the signal-stealing scandal in 2017, Springer returned to the dugout with cheers on his first two. Micholas hit Springer to start the game and hit Springer to assert control of the third inning. When Springer came to lead the sixth inning, he hit back. The Toronto designated hitter flagged a 1-0 slide of Mikolas for Homer’s solo to the seats behind the left field wall. That held the match, 1-1, and shaped the Cardinals’ decision in the seventh when Springer came up again with Mikulas on the hill.
Young Mikulas’ chance to face Springer for the fourth time in the match faded when he hit Jay’s No.9 hitter, Bradley Zimmer. that carried the rules. And so the 99th pitch of Mikolas was the last.
Rookie Andre Ballante, the first of the seven Cardinals this season (so far) to make their first major league debut, was one to make the seventh inning. Manager Oliver Marmol said he went with rookie head mitigator Ryan Helsley because Helsley was restricted to Monday’s course, and Palante could be out here and close to the next inning as well.
Pallante had to deal with loaded bases.
It only made matters worse before it was over.
Inviting tremors from last year’s MLB record 29 walks with bases load, Pallante forced the two-time run for a bases-laden outing. Springer walked five pitches. Jays had one hit in the inning yet produced two runs and a lead due to three walks and hitting a hit that left nowhere else for the runners to go. As with any capacity limit, excess should go home.
The crowd of cardinals began to strike back around the novices and set off from there.
After both kicks, Pallante came home, the Cardinals moved to equalize at the bottom of the seventh inning, and it started with a swing by the newcomer. Juan Ypez scored a one-kick penalty from Piraeus to cut the Blue Jays’ lead. Homer, fourth Yepez of the season in the majors, left his racket at 112.7 mph — this year’s top exit speed was measured for the Cardinal Homer.
“The ball was hit,” Marmol said.
Donovan, another rookie, followed him alone, then the round accelerated on Piraeus. Corey Dickerson singled out putting Donovan, the likely run for a tie, at third base and chasing Berrios out of the game after 6 1/3 innings.
Adam Semper comforted the Prius with runners in corners and quickly fell behind Harrison Bader. The Cardinals’ No. 8 hitter didn’t get the ball-taking mark on Semper Court 3-0, so he didn’t. Bader hit one to the right to turn the court 3-0 into a 3-3 draw. A sharp defense, like catching Donovan or a Tommy Edman diving hitch, froze it there and helped the Cardinals force the extra rounds to give Goldschmidt a fifth hit, another chance to do what he hadn’t done in any of his previous four games – bat. He had three hits and double play for five teams as his tailwind, yet showing no hint, looked quite unsteady despite the breeze.
That is, until he had that only chance to create a storm.
“This is a player who is confident in what he can do,” said Marmol.