Siani delivers decisive blow as Cards stop skid

May 13th, 2024

MILWAUKEE -- and may play different roles for this Cardinals club, but on Sunday, their contributions were equally important for a team badly in need of a victory.

Goldschmidt, the 2022 National League Most Valuable Player who has been in the throes of the worst slump of his career over the past two weeks, jump-started a Cardinals rally from three runs down on Sunday to get the game tied. Then Siani, the 24-year-old center fielder with just 51 games of MLB experience prior to Sunday, drilled a ball off the top of the wall in right-center to drive in the run that proved to be the winner in a 4-3 victory as the Cardinals snapped their seven-game losing streak.

“Driving in that run in a win, that’s pretty cool, and doing it on Mother’s Day for my mom, that puts it up there for sure,” Siani said of his mother, Kristen. “This is big for us. We’re all positive in here and we’re going to continue to be that way. We all know that wins are coming and we’re not putting too much pressure on that.”

The Cardinals had to feel pressure after entering the day 0-6 this season against the Brewers, having dropped eight in a row to their NL Central rivals dating to 2023. By winning on Sunday, the Cardinals were able to leave town eight games back of division-leading Milwaukee instead of trailing by double digits.

“When you’ve lost X-amount of games, and haven’t [won] in a while, the wins seem more important, but we have to keep it going,” said Goldschmidt, who ended an 0-for-32 skid late in Saturday’s loss and then delivered a solo homer and a game-tying RBI on Sunday. “I just like the way that we won this. It was a team effort with complete stuff all the way around. That’s what it’s going to take. It’s going to take all the effort. Not that the effort hasn’t been there, because it has, but it’s nice to be rewarded for it.”

With the Cards trailing, 3-1, in the third inning, manager Oliver Marmol and bench coach Daniel Descalso were ejected by home plate umpire Alan Porter after they challenged two calls at first base -- which were both overturned. Descalso was the first to go and then Marmol was ejected after racing out of the dugout to challenge Porter’s ejection of his coach.

The heated moment seemed to inspire the Cardinals, who scored the game’s final four runs to nab the win. Inspiration was Marmol’s goal, he said, after watching the final six innings from the clubhouse.

“Alan Porter and [first base umpire] Sean Barber are good umpires, and that had more to do with getting something going,” Marmol said. “Those guys do a nice job, and their job is tough. But, at times with a little skid, you’ve just got to get something going.”

With the Cardinals finishing last in the division for the first time in 33 years last year and currently residing there, Marmol’s job security has come into question of late. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said as much on KMOX in St. Louis on Sunday, noting of Marmol, “at some level you’ve got to have some performance” and “we understand if [winning] doesn’t [come], people are going to be held accountable.”

Marmol said that’s a reality he’s lived with since landing the Cardinals managerial job in 2021 and becoming MLB’s youngest skipper. He said he doesn’t shy away from the expectations of managing a franchise with 11 World Series championships and demands of winning each season.

“It comes with the job from Day 1,” Marmol said. “I know what that clubhouse looks like, and I show up every day and take my best shot. I’m going to wake up tomorrow and do that again. And then the next day, do that again.”

Siani, who made the Opening Day roster only after injuries to Tommy Edman and Dylan Carlson, took his best shot at his first MLB home run in the seventh inning of a tied game, and came up just inches short. He turned on a 96 mph fastball and drove the ball 392 feet to the top of the wall. Coincidentally, it was just a few feet away from where Siani nearly robbed a game-winning homer by Milwaukee’s Rhys Hoskins a night earlier.

“[Hoskins’ homer] did get a piece of my glove and that was tough because those are the [catches] you want,” Siani said. “I want to contribute with the glove and bat.”