Scott, Cards sure he's 'going to learn' from tough day in the rain

April 10th, 2024

ST. LOUIS -- Long before the toughest day of ’s young MLB career came along and blindsided him on Wednesday afternoon, Cardinals superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado offered up a piece of advice that he knew the rookie would find pertinent at some point soon.

“One thing that kind of stands out to me is something that Nolan said to me, and that’s that you can’t hide up here,” Scott said after the Cardinals’ 4-3 loss to the Phillies, where his first-inning fielding error led to two runs and his eighth-inning baserunning gaffe proved costly. “Every mistake, every little thing you do and every little thing you say, it’s televised, and people can see it.

“I’m not perfect and I’m not a robot. I’m going to make mistakes, yes, but I am going to learn from them. I feel like that’s something everyone should know. Yeah, I make mistakes, but I’m going to learn from this.”

Part of the reason that the Cardinals felt confident in promoting the 23-year-old Scott from Double-A Springfield to the big leagues is because they believed he had the emotional maturity and inner confidence to ride the highs and lows of the sport. Scott, of course, certainly isn’t above struggling at the game’s highest level, and was left with having to deal with the sour feelings that followed making a pair of uncharacteristic errors on Wednesday.

“[Maturity] is a big part of why I think his demeanor can handle adversity extremely well,” manager Oliver Marmol said of Scott, one of three Cardinals players to appear in all 13 games thus far. “Everyone doesn’t have that [maturity]. Some people fake it, and sometimes you need to do that to survive in this environment. But that’s who Victor really is.”

A fixture in the lineup because of the stellar defense Scott has offered, the usually sure-handed center fielder dropped a fly ball on what would have been the third out of the first inning. That misplay, one that had Scott twisting and turning in the outfield as soon as the ball left the bat, allowed Kyle Schwarber to come around and score. Then, Alec Bohm took further advantage by driving home J.T. Realmuto with a single to put the Cardinals in a 2-0 hole.

A steady rain that fell throughout the game certainly didn’t make things easier, but Scott refused to make excuses.

“It was a little tough with the hard drizzle, and any time you looked up in the sky there was water in your eyes, but there are no excuses, and that ball should have been caught,” Scott said of his first MLB error. “It hit my glove and I’ve got to catch it.”

The two-run error put a damper on another stellar start from 36-year-old right-hander , who allowed just one hit over five innings while striking out six batters. Lynn left his outing by moving into the 96th percentile in chase rate (40.4 percent) and the 77th percentile in swing and miss rate (31.3 percent) among qualified pitchers. Even with his velocity down on his four-seam fastball and cutter on the day, Lynn still got the Phillies lineup to swing and miss nine times.

“Being pretty decent at pitching, I guess,” Lynn said. “I’ve always been able to strike people out. That didn’t change last year; I just gave up more runs. All in all, I’m in a good spot physically, the ball’s coming out of my hand good, and we’ve just got to keep it rolling.”

As for Scott, he said veterans Matt Carpenter and Brandon Crawford were the first to offer encouragement in the dugout following his first-inning error. However, misfortune would find him again later on this wet and chilly day.

With the Cardinals still trailing 4-2, Scott opened the bottom of the eighth inning by dribbling a ball down the third-base line and using his top tier sprint speed -- recorded at 30.1 feet per second -- to record a hit, which broke an 0-for-24 skid. However, because Scott instinctively turned toward second -- instead of veering off into foul ground -- he was tagged out by the Phillies to start the inning.

On a day when even something positive almost instantly turned into a negative, Scott’s confidence and resolve were tested again.

“The game throws different things at you that you have to adjust to as you’re going along,” said Scott, who recorded his first career RBI the previous night. “I feel like balancing out your mindset and learning how to control those highs and lows are a pretty important aspect of this.”