Stat of the Day: Friendly Confines for homers

September 26th, 2021

MLB.com is keeping track of a Stat of the Day for the Cardinals this season, highlighting a unique, interesting or fun nugget from each game.

Sept. 26: Cardinals 4, Cubs 2 -- Wrigley Field homers
When Harrison Bader connected on his game-tying blast in the eighth inning, he also bashed the Cardinals into franchise history amid an already historic streak. His homer was the 13th that St. Louis hit in the four-game set at Wrigley Field, setting the franchise mark for the most homers hit in a four-game series, previously set in 2019 in Pittsburgh.

What's more, with Paul Goldschmidt's 464-foot blast in the third inning (St. Louis' second-longest blast of the season), three of the Cardinals' 10-longest home runs on the year came in these four games at Wrigley, along with Tyler O'Neill's 454-foot homer on in Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader and Bader's 453-foot blast in Friday's nightcap.

Sept. 25: Cardinals 8, Cubs 5 -- Bader's career game
Harrison Bader was untouchable during the Cardinals' 15th consecutive victory -- in both a literal and figurative sense. He took home on a wild pitch in the ninth inning, using a "matrix slide" over the tag, as his manager called it. He stole a pair of bags. He laced a homer as part of a four-hit day, the first of his career.

In sum, he became the seventh Cardinals player (and the eighth instance) with at least four hits, two steals and one homer in the same game, joining:

Ray Lankford (1998)
Vince Coleman (1988, '90)
Lou Brock (1966)
Don Gutteridge (1937)
Rogers Hornsby (1922)
Bob Bescher (1915)

Sept. 24: Cards 8, Cubs 5 (Game 1); Cards 12, Cubs 4 (Game 2) -- O'Neill hits 10th homer of September
In Game 1 of Friday's doubleheader against the Cubs, Tyler O'Neill laced his 30th home run of the season, joining Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado as only the second 30-homer trio in franchise history. But it's what he did in the nightcap that might have been more impressive.

O'Neill homered again, his 31st of the campaign, for his 10th home run in September. He became only the fifth Cardinal to hit as many in the season's final month, joining four club Hall of Famers in the process: Rogers Hornsby (1922), Stan Musial (1953), Ray Lankford (1995) and Mark McGwire, who did so thrice (1997, '98 and '99).

Sept. 23: Cardinals 8, Brewers 5 -- Wainwright nets 2,000th K
When Adam Wainwright got Luis Urías to swing and miss on a curveball in the fourth inning, it marked the 2,000th strikeout of his career, making him the ninth active pitcher and the 85th in AL/NL history to accomplish the feat. Wainwright is also the second Cardinals pitcher to reach the milestone, joining Bob Gibson, whose 2,000th punchout froze Roberto Clemente looking on July 13, 1969.

Sept. 22: Cardinals 10, Brewers 2 -- Rare way to knock in two
Because of some heads-up baserunning from Harrison Bader at second base, Tommy Edman's second-inning fly ball to the wall in right-center became a two-RBI sacrifice fly (Edmundo Sosa also scored from third). It was the first two-RBI sac fly for a Cardinals batter since Albert Pujols on June 7, 2009, vs. the Rockies (which scored Skip Schumaker and Colby Rasmus).

Sept. 21: Cardinals 2, Brewers 1 -- Pitchers who rake
The matchup between Jake Woodford and Brandon Woodruff didn't only result in a battle between pitchers with eerily similar last names. It just so happened that both Woodford and Woodruff also picked up the first hit of the game for the Cardinals and the Brewers, respectively. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time each starting pitcher had their respective teams’ first hits of the game was June 3, 2015: Tim Hudson for the Giants and Francisco Liriano for the Pirates.

Sept. 20: Cardinals 5, Brewers 2 -- Lester joins prestigious club
The Cardinals' win over the Brewers felt bigger than just a single game, not just because it got them a game closer to clinching a playoff berth, but because it gave Jon Lester his 200th career 'W' as well. The southpaw is one of three active pitchers with 200 or more wins, joining Justin Verlander (226) and Zack Greinke (219). He's the 116th pitcher in AL/NL history to earn 200 wins, and he's just the 30th left-hander to accomplish the feat.

Sept. 19: Cardinals 8, Padres 7 -- Edman doubles again
Tommy Edman's leadoff double was dynamic in that it kick-started the Cardinals’ five-run rally for a lead they never relinquished against the Padres, his hometown team growing up. Even further, it was historic. Edman's double was his 41st of the season (tied for the Major League lead) to mark the most by a Cardinals switch-hitter since Red Schoendienst laced 43 in 1950.

Sept. 18: Cardinals 3, Padres 2 -- Milestone for Carpenter
In the midst of an 0-for-31 skid -- the longest hitless streak of his career -- and with his former 2011 World Series teammates in attendance, Matt Carpenter broke out of it with a pinch-hit double in the sixth inning. It was the 300th two-bagger of his career, and he became the 13th Cardinals player with as many career doubles. But more positive is what the Cardinals hope it can mean down the stretch.

"He's going to take big at-bats for us, I'm confident of that," said manager Mike Shildt. "Carp's going to be a contributor for us."

Sept. 17: Cardinals 8, Padres 2 -- Mikolas back in win column
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas tossed 5 2/3 scoreless frames against his former team for his first victory since Sept. 12, 2019 -- a span of 736 days.

"It's been a minute, so it feels good -- spiritually fulfilling, emotionally gratifying," Mikolas said. "It feels nice to go win, and it feels better to do it against one of the teams we're battling right now."

Sept. 15: Cardinals 11, Mets 4 -- Sosa on an RBI tear
Shortstop Edmundo Sosa went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in the Cardinals' victory on Wednesday night and now has 14 RBIs in his last 16 games after having 11 in his first 86 games.

Sept. 14: Cardinals 7, Mets 6 -- First place for the First State
Born in the state of Delaware, Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (1,549) doubled in the fourth inning to pass former Cardinal and current Reds first-base coach Delino DeShields (1,548) for the all-time mark for hits by a player born in the “First State." Goldschmidt leads in almost all other Delaware-born offensive categories, including runs, doubles, home runs, RBIs, walks and extra-base hits.

Sept. 13: Cardinals 7, Mets 0 -- Chasing the century mark
Nolan Arenado's pop-fly single on Monday gave him a team-high 97 RBIs on the season. He is seeking to become the first Cardinals hitter with 100 RBIs since Matt Holiday (102) did so in 2012 and the first Cardinals third baseman since Scott Rolen (124) in 2004.

Sept. 12: Cardinals 2, Reds 0 -- Nolan snags go-ahead HR lead
Nolan Arenado broke three ties in the win over Cincy. He broke a scoreless tie in the first inning with his second two-run home run in as many swings of the bat dating back to Saturday. That swing gave him 17 go-ahead homers this season, breaking a tie with Angels phenom Shohei Ohtani for the most in the Majors this season. And it was also Arenado's 36th go-ahead homer since the start of the 2019 season, breaking a tie with Matt Olson of the A's for the most in that span.

Sept. 11: Cardinals 6, Reds 4 -- A comeback worth waiting for
It took 141 games, but the Cardinals finally found their magical comeback. Entering Saturday, the Cards hadn't won a game in 2021 in which they trailed by at least four runs at any point. That is, until they scored six unanswered against the Reds, capped off by a two-run homer by Nolan Arenado.

What's more, that was Arenado's 35th go-ahead blast since 2019, tied with Matt Olson of the A's for the most in that span.

Sept. 10: Reds 4, Cardinals 2 -- Yadi loves facing Reds pitching
Had Yadier Molina done what he did in Cincinnati, those sounds in the ballpark would have been raucous boos. Instead, the game-tying two-run homer he hit in the fourth inning incited screams of joy -- from himself and Busch Stadium -- and moved him up the Cardinals' leaderboards in RBIs against the Reds. The pair of RBIs gave Molina 125 against Cincinnati in his career, now tied with Jim Bottomley for fifth most in franchise history, as first pointed out by sports historian Tom Orf:

  1. Stan Musial, 275
  2. Enos Slaughter, 173
  3. Albert Pujols, 143
  4. Ken Boyer, 139
  5. Jim Bottomley and Yadier Molina, 125

Sept. 9: Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1 -- O'Neill's sample size grows
With four plate appearances on Thursday, Tyler O'Neill brought his season tally to 443 with a .278/.350/.529 (.879 OPS) slash line far superior to the .229/.291/.422 (.713) marks he posted across his 450 career plate appearances entering 2021. Those numbers grew because of the go-ahead home run he hit in the fifth inning, his second game-winning blast in as many days. This one, which went a Statcast-projected 362 feet, tied for his shortest of the season. Remarkably, that's a number he's hit now thrice.

Sept. 8: Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4 -- Old Pete and Waino
With his victory against the Dodgers -- a "must-win game," as he called it -- Adam Wainwright notched his 15th victory of the season. It made him the second pitcher in Cardinals history to post a season with 15 wins after turning 40, joining Grover Cleveland Alexander. You may know Alexander more by his nickname, "Old Pete."

"I can already hear the joke inside the clubhouse right now," Wainwright laughed. "'Hey Waino, when did you go by Pete?'"

Sept. 7: Dodgers 7, Cardinals 2: O'Neill goes 3-for-3
Tyler O'Neill's first full season has proved to be a smashing success. The Cardinals' left fielder went 3-for-3 with a walk, raising his batting average on the season to .278 and his OPS to .868. Tuesday was his ninth game of the season with at least three hits. He entered the 2021 season with just three such games across his big league career.

Sept. 6: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1: Cardinals go down swinging
St. Louis product Max Scherzer has excelled pitching in his hometown. Scherzer diced up the Cardinals for 13 strikeouts across eight innings. That unlucky 13 number made up the most an opposing starting pitcher has collected against the Cardinals this season. When Joe Kelly struck out the 14th in the ninth, it tied the Cardinals' single-game high.

Sept. 5: Brewers 6, Cardinals 5 -- O'Neill's absolute moonshot
As Tyler O'Neill hammered a baseball through the open panels in American Family Field's left-center stanchions, he continued his climb up the distance leaderboards. The two-run homer gave O'Neill his sixth of the year soaring 450 feet or more, this one traveling 455 feet at 109.5 mph.

In MLB ranks, it tied Shohei Ohtani and Salvador Perez for the second most home runs of at least 450 feet. Only the Rockies' C.J. Cron has more, with seven.

Sept. 4: Brewers 4, Cardinals 0 -- Double-trouble in the corners
The Cardinals could take solace in the fact that their pitching and defense kept what could have been a bona fide blowout into a more nimble loss. Twice, that defense came from the corner-outfield spots. In the second inning, it was Tyler O'Neill throwing a strike to catch Luis Urías trying to stretch a single into a double. An inning later, it was Dylan Carlson's turn, erasing Eduardo Escobar as the leadoff runner as he, too, tried to turn a one-bagger into two.

Zooming out, they resembled O'Neill's sixth outfield assist of the season and Carlson's team-leading seventh. As a team, the Cardinals' 23 outfield assists rank third in the NL, behind the Rockies and Marlins.

Sept. 3: Cardinals 15, Brewers 4 -- The Yadi-Waino punch?!
It's not just on the mound that Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina excel, but evidently in the batter's box as well. On the night they made their 300th career start together -- only the fourth battery to do so in history -- Wainwright helped his cause by driving in Molina with a bases-loaded knock in the second inning. It was the 12th time in Wainwright's career that he drove in Molina -- the most of any player.

Sept. 1: Cardinals 5, Reds 4 (Game 1); Reds 12, Cardinals 2 (Game 2) -- Goldy enjoys facing Reds
With two homers and three RBIs in Game 1, Paul Goldschmidt is now batting .357 (20-for-56) with four homers, 11 RBIs, 10 runs scored and seven walks in 16 games against the Reds in 2021.