PHOENIX – Between Paul Goldschmidt's homecoming homecoming and the late runs to ensure his lucky return, the Cardinals had to navigate through a game to find out where they would have to survive in October to be successful.  A victory with Homer was really a dress rehearsal for the Bullpen.
The Cardinals hit four home runs at Chase Field, including Goldschmidt's 100th at the ballpark, to take the lead and expand, but never far enough to hold the Diamondbacks completely out of reach. This task went to the helpers. A trio of right-handers who polished their posts for the postseason threw three goalless innings into ninth place, with Carlos Martinez scoring a 9-7 win and his 24th parry against the Diamondbacks late on Monday night.
Martinez bent down. but not salvaging in a turbulent ninth blow to relieve Adam Wainwright. This brought him his fifth win in September and brought the Cardinals a victory closer to the division's title for October.
"We need them all," said Goldschmidt. "We're in the divisional race right there."
The Cardinals (90-67) lowered their magic number to three ahead of the second-placed Brewers. After Milwaukee wanted to start a series in Cincinnati on Tuesday, the Cardinals led the National League Central with 3½ games, with five games still outstanding.
The Cardinals have won 90 games for the first time since 201
Flush of their four The veterans of the team realized that such a high level could invite a desert low. Before the start of the regular season's road series, the Cardinals talked about avoiding disappointment, letting out the helium of the Wrigley victories and disappointing them against the Diamondbacks. This word spread in the clubhouse.
"The message of all our veterans was what we did in Chicago," said Wainwright (14-9). "This is probably my favorite four-day regular season track I can remember, which was amazing, but what we started there in Chicago was great, but that's just the beginning."
No player in the National League has played more games this season than Goldschmidt, and yet he returned to the stadium park only with his 156th game He was home for his entire career through this summer, with more than six hours to go before the first pitch and Goldschmidt He was accompanied by friends and their children for a spontaneous reunion and family day.The game started with a video homage to Goldschmidt, a six-time All-Star Diamondback, and routinely MVP. Candidate: Before the game, old Goldschmidt had taken off his cap and his hard hat of the crowd in thanks for the rolling ovation.
Tue e Cardinals have known him long enough to feel his discomfort.
"That's not his thing Per se," said manager Mike Shildt.
Goldschmidt's two-part Homer in the second inning-off starter Alex Young expanded the lead of the Cardinals to 4: 1. With 99 home runs, he returned to Chase Field as the leader and added his first as a visitor – his 100th on the stadium. He added a single in ninth for a two-hit game. By then, Harrison Bader's Homer had given the cardinals insurance in the eighth. The pen had given them stability.
And another look at the casting after the season.
Rookie Ryan Helsley, who was increasingly posing as a mid-inning flamethrower, struck a punch and got a double key game to freeze the score. 5 after six innings. All four wins at Wrigley last weekend were scored in one go, and three of the games were won in the Cardinals' final. That was the task of the Bullpen, not only to keep the Cubs, but also to close the Cubs.
When the Bullpen took over Monday, the result was another unique game. The Cardinals continue to measure Helsley for this midgame role in October as the right-hander brings the strength for the fourth or fifth inning. In the seventh, right-handed setup, Giovanny Gallegos, a revelation this season, dropped out of all three thugs he faced. John Brebbia, the bearded constant of the group, beat two and placed himself in a perfect eighth place before allowing a homer in ninth place and bringing Martinez into play.
All three of these reliefs, from experienced beginners to novices, could see similar tasks in similar positions in different order in the playoffs.
"You see people who feel comfortable in these big places," Wainwright said. "Some young people showed up in Chicago and had great innings for us, and (Monday) guys got in there and made themselves comfortable in big spots. That's the key. In any postseason team I've been involved with, these roles and some kind of sleeper or surprise man seem to be sneaking on the postseason list. If it was Jason Motte or Mitchell Boggs or a young Adam Wainwright – sometimes you get the guys who pop up and just give the bullpen the extra spark.
Catcher Yadier Molina, the shepherd for this flock of reliefs, added: sacrificing fly to his homerun for three RBIs in the game. The Cardinals loaded the bases in ninth with no outs and squeaked over enough runs to briefly stop Martinez & # 39; warmups. A solo homer and a run to ninth place against Brebbia made him appear in six games for the fifth time.
At home, Goldschmidt came home for three runs.
However, his appearance on every plate brought acclaim He refused to accept the assumption that his return to Chase Field was roughly equivalent to Albert Pujol's overcrowded visit to Busch Stadium earlier this season.
"One to 10 percent of what happened to him," said Goldschmidt.
The winning streak that brought Jack Flaherty into the mix for the Cy Young Award cast and brought the Cardinals back into the fight began in August, when the young starter won his first four decisions and earned an ERA of .28 , He allowed a deserved run in his first 32 innings of the month and only went eight. He was 4-0. He was named Pitcher of the Month in the National League in August.
While Cardinals starter Cardinal Flaherty continued to dominate the dog days until Tuesday into September, Wainwright launched his own, which shared some of Flaherty's results. In his first four starts in September, Wainwright was unbeaten 4-0 and allowed a run in his first 27 innings along with four walks. The veteran was able to tap his contract on Monday and secure a $ 2 million bonus for his 30th season opener. By gaining all of his incentives and doing so in style, Wainwright added $ 8 million in bonuses to his $ 2 million base salary.
"The contract was one of the contracts that worked perfectly for both sides," said John Mozeliak. the president of the Cardinals for baseball operations. "Whenever you do something with shared risk, it's nice to see that both sides are rewarded."
Wainwright reached the desert in September with an ERA of 0.33.
It was not long before he was scorched.
Diamondbacks took a run in the second and Christian Walker's Homer into the Cardinals' fourth-round lead, and then things began to settle on Wainwright in the fifth. A one-time walk to a pinch hitter was the linchpin for Wainwright's start and the prelude to four consecutive singles. Josh Rojas and Eduardo Escobar had RBI singles and left-hander Jake Lamb put a sacrificial fly on the right field. The Cardinals captured Wainwright during the inning and subsequent reload in the inning, beating veteran Adam Jones to save the Diamondbacks from more than three runs. The binding run was at the second base when Wainwright threw his last pitch of the game.
He allowed five runs with eight goals through five innings, but thanks to the Cardinals who stayed with him for the finals of the fifth, he was in the series to improve to 5-0 this month.
Home runs have done most of the effort to build Wainwright.
Tommy Edman scored his 11th home run of the season in the first inning for the first run of the Cardinals. Goldschmidt's shot to the right came in the third inning. And in the fifth inning, Molina watched from the deck, as Marcell Ozuna drove a ball into the deep midfield. Molina raised her arms as Ozuna's ball was carried to the wall – but not over it. With Ozuna in second place and a 2-0 win, Molina again extended her arms and catapulted a homer on the left fields. This brought the Cardinals on a 6-2 lead, which broke off in the fifth inning. The Cardinals won their sixth game in a row. Eight of the last 10 games were decided by three or fewer runs.
This stinks of what to expect in the playoffs.
"I do not think you can always win close matches," said Goldschmidt. "We know that, but in the last few weeks the schedule was tough, I think we knew there would be a lot of tight games, everybody uses their bullpen, every pitch is important, it's like a playoff baseball. That this will happen, and it did not disappoint.
"If we play well, that would be a great story," he concluded. "If we do not, there will be another act."