Raining homers: Goldy blasts 2 shots after lengthy weather delay

May 27th, 2024

ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals first baseman has spent most of the season trying to find his swing. He found it on Sunday night at Busch Stadium.

After a two-hour, 30-minute rain delay, Goldschmidt hit a pair of two-run homers off Javier Assad to power the Cardinals to a 4-3 win and a series sweep of the Cubs in a weather-shortened two-game set. It was the 27th career multihomer game for the 2022 MVP, with the last time occurring on May 23, 2023, at Cincinnati.

“First time playing the Cubs and a weekend series with some primetime games, so it's great,” Goldschmidt said. “That's a lot of fun. It reminds me of a college football game with just these two fan bases that are so great and so competitive. Two really entertaining games.”

Goldschmidt’s 424-foot homer in the third gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. The ball was blasted into Big Mac Land in the third deck of the bleachers.

It was the ninth career homer that Goldschmidt has hit in this section, the most of any player since the stadium opened in 2006.

“Goldschmidt-type of swings,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “It's a big day for him, which means it's a big day for us.”

Goldschmidt hit his second homer his next time up in the fifth to make it 4-0.

Goldschmidt has been showing signs of finding his power stroke in the last dozen games.

He entered the Cardinals' game at Milwaukee on May 12 hitting just .190 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. Since then, he’s hitting .308 (16-for-52) with four home runs and 10 RBIs, while his average has climbed to .222.

“These last couple days definitely were better, and hopefully I can continue that on this road trip and longer,” Goldschmidt said. “I wish I had something to say, but yeah, it's just obviously some good swings tonight and hopefully it will keep getting better as we go.”

The fact that Goldschmidt accomplished this feat against Assad makes it more impressive. The Cubs' righty entered the game holding right-handed batters to a .176 average (16-for-91) this season -- the sixth-lowest mark in the Majors -- and he hadn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his previous 10 starts this season.

“Just keeping it simple,” Goldschmidt said. “His command has been so good. I think the two hits I got were mistakes. That first one, especially, [Assad] left that one up.”

Masyn Winn singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games, the longest by a Cardinal this season. Alec Burleson singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, matching a career best.

Sonny Gray only went five innings, but he was dominant. Gray (7-2) held the Cubs to just one hit and struck out eight.

Gray exited after just 74 pitches, but his 67 strikeouts this season ties Chuck Finley (2002) for the most K's for a pitcher in their first nine appearances for the Cardinals since 1901.

Marmol said that Gray had trouble getting his lower body loose with the rain delay before the game.

“It was just trying to make a good, quality, educated decision on longevity, and just glad that we came away with the win,” Gray said.

Ian Happ hit a pair of homers off Andrew Kittredge and Ryan Helsley, respectively, to make things interesting. It was the second night in a row that Helsley gave up runs in the ninth, but still held on for the save.

“There's going to be games that looked like yesterday and today where they throw some good at-bats on them," Marmol said. “There’s going to be days where they're untouchable and it's a pretty clean and efficient inning. But I trust our 'pen.”

The win puts an exclamation point on a dominant homestand in which St. Louis won seven of eight games. The Cardinals have won 10 of their past 12 and are just a game under .500 as the season hits Memorial Day.

“Good team effort,” Marmol said. “Bottom line, guys are stepping up and contributing, and different guys are coming in doing their jobs and it's coming together really well from all sides of the game. Baserunning, defense, pitching, hitting, it's coming together and it's led to some wins. But the guys are playing with confidence and playing for each other, which I love.”