MILWAUKEE — With the National League Central title was won with a plastic sheet covering the dressing rooms and beer and champagne bottles in the possession of the champions and the Cardinals could not begin celebrating up until Albert Pujols gave his blessing late on Tuesday night.
Pujols, the man who scored 707 home runs and the two World Series championships, three MVPs, and 22 seasons in his time in the Major Leagues, had been summoned to the heart of the team’s clubhouse the rookie director Oliver Marmol, and he was asked to address the team before even a single champagne bottle was opened. The 42-year-old slugger sat down with the team about coming back to the team for another season of celebrations like this, and was grateful to be a part of the current Cardinals team. He then urged his teammates to continue fighting and striving for more and to never be content so that they could enjoy additional champagne-filled celebrations in October, and possibly even into November.
“Remember this moment — this is the goal we’re trying to achieve in the month of October to take home the title to bring into the town of St. Louis,” Pujols stated as coaches, players and officials gathered round him. watched his every word after his team’s Cardinals’ 6-2 victory at American Family Field. “This is what we are playing for. We earn a lot of money and this is the thing we’re playing to win. Let’s try to be a champion this year. God bless!”
After Pujols final words bubbly suds flew through the air, beer bottles were slammed and joyful shouts were released. There was no one more joyful more than Nolan Arenado, the 10-year MLB veteran and possibly the most impressive third baseman of his time whom was celebrating winning his division win. He felt like were sneaking into the playoffs via the back door, and made it there in 2017and 18 and 21 as a wild card. The next time around, he’d be an aspiring champion, an ambition he was open about and was later realized as an important player on the Cardinals team that came through the division championship by tying 17-3 between July 30 and the 22nd of August. 22.
“The aim for us is winning a ballgame and that’s all we talk about and everything thoughts are focused on,” said Arenado, who is expected to win an 11th Gold Glove. “I’m grateful to everyone here for their contribution whether it was the veterans or the youngsters. We’ve seen many historical moments throughout the season, but I’m grateful to be part of my very first division championship team.”
Arenado on clinching NL Central
While they split the first 14 games against each other The Cardinals always believed they’d eventually break back from Brewers and take on them to win the division title. After languishing in the shadow of Brewers in the divisional standings for three months The Cardinals finally caught up to their adversaries on the 4th of August. 4. Then they didn’t look back, racing ahead by as much as nine and a half games.
The Cardinals have completed their season on Tuesday, July 31. Even the fact that the magical number of three was just that The Cardinals took the division by due to their 10-point lead in the match-up in the series against the Brewers.
“We were confident that we had the team to pull it off and, in the end, it was a matter of whether we managed to do it,” Marmol said with his shirt soaked and a towel across his shoulders. “We’ve seen a lot of individual achievements in the clubhouse -for example, Yadi [Molina] and Adam Wainwright’s325 [starts] and 325 starts and 700 home runs] together with Albert However, they were part of this culture and never focused on the players. All of us are playing for something larger than ourselves and that’s winning a championship.”
The third time in a row that season in which the Cardinals secured a playoff spot when they faced the Brewers.
“When you’re a Cardinal that’s what you do, you go at Spring Training and you expect to be in the playoffs each year. That’s the way we operate,” said All-Star closer Ryan Helsley, who threw the fastest pitch of the season at 104.2 mph. “When you’re chosen by the Cardinals you’re hoping for to be a star. With players like [Molinaand [Wainwright] along with this year’s Pujols have created this kind of culture and I’m honored to be part of it.
“This season has almost like the story of a fairytale. You can’t make more perfect film than this one in Hollywood,” Helsley added. “It’s been an enjoyable experience to be part of and we’d like to continue.”
The Cardinals showcased the size and strength of their lineup as they took on Brewers Brewers with nine runsseven of which went for additional bases. Dylan Carlson, who has had a difficult time hitting left-handed against righties, hit the ball with two singles. He scored twice. Paul Goldschmidt, the NL’s top MVP candidate prior to an eerie month-long slump in September, registered two hits and two RBIs in a positive indicator of things to come for the Cardinals. Andrew Knizner snapped a 0-for-22 streak with a 2-run homer in the fourth, which provided the Redbirds an impressive 4-0 lead.
This was plenty for pitcher Miles Mikolas, who retired the first 10 batters he faced. He ended up pitching six strong innings. He gave up just one hit, one run and one walk, while throwing 9 Brewers — which was the third time this season that he’s lost nine times in an entire game. He also beat Milwaukee for the third consecutive time during the season.
“We would like [Pujols Molina and Wainwrightto walk away from the game with a trophy,” Mikolas said as the pitching head coach Mike Maddux poured beer over his head. “Ever when I’ve had the privilege of being here it’s always been a second half team. We witnessed the changes that the front office made during the Trade Deadline to give us the tools we required and we’ve always believed that we could achieve this.”
Mikolas his strong performance brought the pitcher to an impressive 199 1/3 innings over the course of the year — an impressive feat for a pitcher who’s been injured for the majority during the 2020 and ’21 seasons. The team is cruising with seven games left will give the Cardinals to put off veteran pitchers Wainwright and Mikolas in the final stretch. Wainwright is struggling to overcome a “dead arms” for several weeks, and has surrendered 17 earned runs over the recent five games, isn’t scheduled to throw again until the weekend. This afternoon in Busch Stadium figures to be an evening of celebration when the Cardinals pay tribute to the legends who passed away Pujols and Molina and could be a home-coming game during the regular season for 41-year-old Wainwright who is yet to decide whether he’ll be a part of the team in 2023.
The threesome consisting of Cardinals legends is certain of playing at minimum one more game on Busch Stadium beyond this weekend. As champions of NL Central, the Cardinals will be guaranteed the no. 3 seed. They will play the lowest-ranked wild Card team beginning on Oct. 7.. It may be Phillies, Padres or Brewers in a best-of-3 series. The Cardinals had a 4-2 record this year with San Diego and 3-4 versus the Phillies. They took home an advantage of 10-8 over the Brewers.
“This isn’t easy; you glance around and see that no one takes the division crown for granted since it’s difficult to accomplish,” Goldschmidt said. “We realized that we had not performed at our peak in the beginning of the season, but we believed that it was possible to play better and put everything together, we’d stand the chance. Other times, we’ve been in the middle and couldn’t recover from the gap. This year, however was different. We knew that if were to play at our best and be at our best, we had the chance of winning the division. And that’s the result.”