Cardinals Stat of the Day: August 2021

August 31st, 2021 is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Cardinals this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Aug. 30: Cardinals 3, Reds 1 -- Goldy heating up
Paul Goldschmidt slugged a two-run homer in the first inning in the victory. Since August 1, Goldschmidt ranks among the NL leaders in hits (36, second), batting average (.350, sixth) and total bases (62, fifth).

Aug. 29: Pirates 4, Cardinals 3 -- Finally, an O'Neill triple!
Who's fast, wholly strong and owned one of the most quirky snake-bitten streaks in baseball? That'd be Cardinals outfielder Tyler O'Neill, who laced the first triple of his big league career against the Pirates in his 767th career at-bat.

Only three active players entered the day with at least 766 at-bats and zero triples. One is a catcher (the Padres' Victor Caratini) and another is Brewers first baseman Daniel Vogelbach, listed at 6 feet, 270 pounds. The the third was O'Neill, near the top of the league in both exit velocity and sprint speed. What's more, 31 players in AL/NL history have collected more at-bats before their first triple than it took O'Neill.

Aug. 28: Cardinals 13, Pirates 0 -- Waino's electric night
Adam Wainwright will not pitch again against the Pirates this season, meaning he'll close the year with one earned run in 30 innings against them. That's a 0.30 ERA. Only one pitcher -- Don Cardwell in 1961 -- owns a lower season-long ERA against the Bucs since earned runs were first counted in 1913 (minimum four starts).

What's more, with three scoreless starts against Pittsburgh this August, he's the first pitcher with at least 24 scoreless innings against a team in a single month since Bill Bailey of the Baltimore Terrapins (and later Chicago Whales) did it against the Brooklyn Tip Tops in 1915, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

Aug. 27: Cardinals 4, Pirates 3 -- Bader's scorching throw home
The defense was on display all night in the Cardinals' gritty win. No one play may have been more impactful than Harrison Bader's outfield assist in the eighth inning. Collecting a single from Kevin Newman, Bader came up and fired a 91.2 mph strike home to nab Colin Moran as the game-tying run. That throw was the third-fastest tracked from Bader this season. But it was the fastest that resulted in an outfield assist, his second of the season.

Aug. 26: Pirates 11, Cardinals 7 -- New records abound for Sosa
Edmundo Sosa has carried with him the spark plug attitude of this 2021 season, making dazzling plays on defense and aiding with both pop and on-base aptitude in his bat. His two-run homer vs. Pittsburgh was simply an encapsulation of his season -- a 106.9 mph shot, 428 feet the opposite way. It represented the longest home run of his career.

What's more, Sosa's hit-by-pitch in the sixth inning was his 15th of the season, setting the Cardinals' single-season rookie record. It was a mark that had stood since 1909, when right fielder Steve Evans was plunked 14 times in 143 games.

Aug. 25: Cardinals 3, Tigers 2 (10 innings) -- Goldy's hot day at the dish
Sweltering in the near-100-degree air at Busch Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, Paul Goldschmidt channeled the heat into his bat by hitting two home runs. His first homer gave him 900 career RBIs, making him the 29th-fastest first baseman to accomplish the feat. His second long ball secured his first multihomer game since September 2019.

Aug. 24: Tigers 4, Cardinals 3 -- Dual-threat Edman
With his stolen base in the first inning, Tommy Edman became the first St. Louis player with 30-plus doubles and 20-plus stolen bags in a season since Jason Heyward in 2015. Edman is just the third Card to do so since 2000, with Edgar Renteria doing so thrice in that span. What's more, Edman's NL-leading 32 doubles makes him the first Cardinals switch-hitter with as many two-baggers in a season since Felix Jose laced 40 in 1991.

Aug. 22: Cardinals 3, Pirates 0 -- Waino hurls eight scoreless
With his eight scoreless innings against the Pirates, Adam Wainwright notched his 12th win of the season in his fourth time holding opponents scoreless. In doing so, Wainwright accomplished the following:

• Earned his 20th career win over the Pirates -- only team he has 20 wins against
• Moved into second place in the NL in innings pitched, as he's trying to become just the fourth pitcher in AL/NL history aged 39 years or older to lead his respective league
• Reached 150 strikeouts for the eighth time in his career (second in franchise history)
• Rattled off his MLB-leading fifth win since the All-Star break

Aug. 21: Pirates 5, Cardinals 4 -- Happ's turnaround
When J.A. Happ arrived in St. Louis, he carried with him a 6.77 ERA and the most earned runs in the Majors. Since then? He's pitched to a 2-0 record and 1.99 ERA in 22 2/3 innings after another quality start against the Pirates, lowering his season ERA to 5.88. Most encouraging? Four of his five earned runs as a Cardinal have been via solo home runs, seldom running into sustained trouble and seldom letting situations balloon.

Aug. 20: Pirates 4, Cardinals 0 -- Bader a star
Harrison Bader has always had a penchant for the flair, and on Friday, Statcast took notice. The center fielder made a pair of four-star plays to help Miles Mikolas navigate through his five innings of work. The first, a ball hammered 102.6 mph off the bat of Colin Moran, required Bader to cover 69 feet to his left, capped off by a sliding grab in right-center. The second was far different, a soft-hit ball by Bryan Reynolds that Bader had to break in on to dive in and haul in, precipitating a duck and roll back to his feet.

The first had a catch probability of 35 percent. The second, 40 percent. Both equated as four-star plays, Bader's fourth and fifth of the season.

Aug. 19: Cardinals 8, Brewers 4 -- O'Neill's powerful company
There are four players with at least five home runs that have traveled 450 feet this season. One is two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, the runwaway favorite for AL MVP. One is Rockies slugger C.J. Cron, who calls Coors Field home. One is Salvador Perez, who's enjoying a revival season (30 total dingers). All own six such homers.

And the fourth is Tyler O'Neill, whose three-run jack not only gave the Cardinals a lead for good, but also represented his 21st homer of the season, five of which have now gone 450 feet or further. His latest, in the fifth inning, traveled 450 feet on the dot.

Aug. 18: Brewers 6, Cardinals 4 (10) -- Yadi 3K
With his 10th-inning single, Yadier Molina not only gave the Cardinals life in a game that seemed put away, but it handed him his 3,000th total base. He became just the seventh in Cardinals history to reach such a mark, now just 11 bases behind Ken Boyer in sixth place. Only one Cardinal has reached 4,000: Stan Musial, who's second in AL/NL history with 6,134.

Aug. 17: Brewers 2, Cardinals 0 -- O'Neill's got a cannon
Tyler O'Neill entered Tuesday night with three outfield assists on the season. He left it with five for the first multi-assist game of his career. His first was a 90.9 mph one-hopper that caught Kolten Wong trying to score from second on a single. The second, aided by replay review, was an 86.3 mph throw to second to catch Avisaíl García trying to stretch a single into a double. O'Neill's five assists are one behind Dylan Carlson for the team lead and tie him for fifth in the National League.

Aug. 15: Cardinals 7, Royals 2 -- Huge road trip sweep
The Cardinals' sweep of the Royals was big in that it was their sixth straight win to climb back into the NL Wild Card conversation. With each such win coming on the road, Sunday marked only the second time in franchise history St. Louis has swept a road trip of six games or more. The only other time in the franchise's 139-year history was in May 2017, when the Cards took three in Atlanta and then three more in Miami.

Aug. 14: Cardinals 9, Royals 4 -- Sosa only needs a half-hour
Edmundo Sosa said he had about 25-30 minutes of a heads-up that he'd be starting against the Royals on Saturday night. How did he respond? With the fourth three-hit night of his season, crossing the plate twice as the Cardinals took the series from Kansas City.

It was destined to be Sosa's first career four-hit night until a scoring change the day after charged Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez with an error, taking away the second base knock from Sosa.

Aug. 13: Cardinals 6, Royals 0 -- O'Neill's back-to-back blast
When Tyler O'Neill followed up Nolan Arenado's solo homer in the fourth with one of his own, it resembled a turning of the tide against Mike Minor, who held St. Louis hitless through 3 1/3 innings. It also accomplished the following:

• Represented the Cardinals' fifth time going back to back this season, their first since July 19
• Handed O'Neill his 40th career home run and his 100th career RBI
• Made it nine of 11 games this month the Cardinals have homered in, going 7-4 in that span.

Aug. 12: Cardinals 7, Pirates 6 -- Feeling right at home
Manager Mike Shildt and the Cardinals must enjoy playing at PNC Park. Shildt owns the highest managerial winning percentage -- .870 (20-3) -- in the ballpark's 21-year history after St. Louis' 10th straight win in Pittsburgh. The last time the Cardinals won that many in a row at a road park was from 2000-01, when they won five straight to close out Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium and their first six at PNC Park.

Aug. 11: Cardinals 4, Pirates 0 -- Yadi's milestones
Yadier Molina waited 27 games between his last two doubles. It was worth the wait. The one he rapped in the sixth inning against the Pirates was milestone-making. It accounted for the 396th two-bagger of his career, tying Cubs great and Hall of Famer Gabby Hartnett for fifth all-time in AL/NL history.

Molina also moved into fifth place in innings caught with 17,377 2/3, passing Hall of Famer Gary Carter on Wednesday.  All nine in Pittsburgh were to help Adam Wainwright to his first career "Maddux" in their 296th start together.

Aug. 10: Cardinals 4, Pirates 1 -- .500 all over again
The Cardinals' win on Tuesday night propelled them to 56-56, marking the 22nd time this season they have been at the .500 mark. Only one team has been .500 as many times this season: the Phillies.

Aug. 8: Royals at Cardinals -- Carlson sparks offense
It took two pitches from Kris Bubic for Dylan Carlson to hammer his second leadoff homer of the season, the last of which came on July 22 against the Cubs. It gave the Cardinals the lead first, then Carlson helped kick-start the eighth-inning rally with a sacrifice fly that plated Harrison Bader. Carlson is the first Cardinals switch-hitter to hit a leadoff HR from both sides of the plate in the same season since Rafael Furcal in 2011.

Aug. 7: Cardinals 5, Royals 2 -- Clutch in a pinch
Not only did Matt Carpenter's go-ahead double give the Cardinals a lead for good on Saturday, but it put him at a .200 average for the first time this season. It also set an auspicious table. The Cardinals sent three pinch-hitters to the plate against Kansas City: Carpenter, Lars Nootbaar and José Rondón. All three notched a hit, two of which scored runs. It was the first time St. Louis collected three pinch-hits in a game since Sept. 6, 2019.

Aug. 6: Cardinals 4, Royals 2 -- O'Neill flirts with cycle
Somehow, Cardinals speedster Tyler O'Neill does not have a triple 258 games into his Major League career. Had he notched his first one on Friday, it would have given him the cycle, which would have been the first by a Cardinal since 2005.

Regardless, O'Neill's four-hit night -- a pair of singles, a double and a solo homer -- was the first of his career. He hit every ball but one with an exit velocity north of 102 mph.

Aug. 5: Braves 8, Cardinals 4 -- Knizner making most of chances
The Cardinals were not on pace to shut out the Braves, especially after the eighth-inning meltdown. But Andrew Knizner made the most of his rare start, blasting his first homer of the year and navigating Wade LeBlanc to what ought to have been his first Cardinals win. All told, though, St. Louis has shut out opponents nine times this season. Knizner, in 27 starts, is responsible for five of them. Yadier Molina, in 80 starts, owns four.

Aug. 4: Braves 7, Cardinals 4 -- Arenado's milestone blast
With his first-inning three-run blast, Nolan Arenado scored his 700th career run, joining Yadier Molina, Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter as the only active Cardinals with that many. What's more, it was his 64th career first-inning home run, which is the sixth most among active MLB players -- and just one behind Goldschmidt.

Aug. 3: Braves 6, Cardinals 1 -- Age ... it's just a number
There are four active left-handed pitchers with at least 15 years of MLB experience. Three of them are Cardinals: Andrew Miller, J.A. Happ and Jon Lester, who took the loss vs. Atlanta. The other? The Mets' Rich Hill, who pitched for St. Louis' Triple-A affiliate in 2010. What's more, the Cards are the first team to boast five pitchers 36 years or older (Lester, Happ, Miller, Adam Wainwright and Wade LeBlanc) since the 2013 Pirates.

Aug. 1: Cardinals 7, Twins 3 -- Waino wallops rocket line drive
On the same day Yadier Molina passed Albert Pujols on the Cardinals' all-time hits list, Adam Wainwright may have had the day's most impressive at-bat. Wainwright capped off a 10-pitch battle with a 109.8 mph grounder that turned into a run-scoring error. It was the second-hardest-hit ball on the afternoon (behind Twins slugger Miguel Sanó), Wainwright's hardest-hit ball of the Statcast era and his first run-scoring at-bat of the season, though the error negated an RBI.