‘A complete player’ O’Neill’s growth produces signature swing for Cardinals’ postseason push | St. Louis News Headlines – St. Louis, Missouri


St. Louis, Missouri 2021-09-19 03:55:00 –

NS. Louis (KMOV.com) — When the Cardinals celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 2011 World Series Championship at Busch Stadium on Saturday, one member of the club of the year was preparing to play a baseball game. bottom. Postseason push.

Adam Wainwright did not pitch due to an injury during its memorable 2011 season, but he accompanied him as his Cardinal defeated the Texas Rangers to win the 11th World Championship in the franchise. Did. Many of Wainwright’s former teammates from the 2011 roster have returned to Busch Stadium for this weekend’s celebration. It was an opportunity for St. Louis fans to thank one of the most unlikely and memorable October baseball games I’ve ever seen.

The current version of the Cardinals appears to be ready for its own October run.

“Even before the match started, the night was magical,” said Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.

After a family reunion and a pre-game ceremony that felt like a mashup on Opening Day, Wainwright started a business with battery mate Yadier Molina (who is also a member of the 2011 team). The magic of a year ago this season.

Wainwright described himself as “very average” after the match, with a slightly higher quality start (6 innings) rather than the extraordinary type of performance he normally offers on special nights at the stadium. , 2 earned run). When the Cardinals won 3-2, Wainwright thought later and left the contest before registering his 2,000th career strikeout in front of the home crowd.

The fact that Wainwright said he had dawned for the first time after a day on the mound ended the day stuck in a career Ks of 1,999.

“We found that we needed one more strikeout to reach 2,000 tonight,” said Wainwright. “If I knew it, I would have started sending things to the soil at the end of the game trying to get some swings and mistakes with those two strike counts.”

Instead, Wainwright would, if so, put together an unexplained quality start and allow the Ascending Cardinals superstars to steal the spotlight with a fascinating come-from-behind victory. I stopped by aside.

The development of Tyler O’Neal was the main story of the Cardinals 2021 season. After flashing his athletic ability with the Gold Glove Awarded for the benefits of his Sterling Defense Metrics in 2020, the previous top outlook, which was considered a potential for his raw power, is that he is always on the plate. I started to fulfill the promise I had at.

Prior to Saturday, O’Neill had already led his team, a team that included serious superstars from Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, at the On-Base-Plus-Slugging Percentage. His eight home runs to push the Cardiac card to a 3-2 lead and finally win the game jumped the season’s OPS to .886. The mark is ranked 19th in all of MLB. His 28 home runs are ranked 12th among NL batters — and despite having two separate stints on the injured list earlier this year. He has a dozen stolen bases to launch.

Tyler O’Neill, the charm before that was always about “what if”. What surrounds his life potential has refined it into reality. Tyler O’Neal is now a Cardinals total package.

“We knew he would get better,” Wainwright said. “The front office has always said that he thinks this guy will be the next 40/40 guy. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if that would happen. Many swings in his game. There was Andmis. He had to change some of the swing patterns and some of the approach on the plate.

“What I’m seeing from him right now is the guy studying in the movie room. He has a great idea of ​​what the pitcher is trying to do. He’s trying to achieve what he’s trying to achieve. Have a great idea of ​​what he is. He has a good approach. He knows his strengths. Man, it’s exactly what is called growing up in a clubhouse right there. A perfect player And that’s what makes him a perfect player. “

Prior to this year, O’Neill had never reached a double-digit home run in the MLB season. His strikeouts were not offset by the right amount of damage. Even during this breakout campaign in 2021, O’Neill had to face adversity. His ability to adapt and prosper at those moments turned him into a wreck crew for the Red Bird.

Such a moment happened on Saturday. It was when Phil Cuzzi, the home plate umpire, presented the 26-year-old left fielder with the possibility of a stumbling block. Kuzzi eventually called the Cardinals batter three strikes, and on the night of the seven strikes, the referee caught O’Neill a second in the sixth.

Objectively, this call was poor. It was a tough night for Kuzzi behind the plate, just as he won O’Neill in the fourth inning. Not surprisingly, O’Neill’s tendency was to express a bit of that discomfort in a game that was shaped as frustrating to the St. Louis attack. Cardinals didn’t get a run from Yu Darvish in 7 innings. Cuzzi was part of the reason for the confused rally killing strike call.

However, O’Neill stopped showing his frustration. He stopped escaping the game in the sixth inning to claim the ball and strike. He realized that important at-bats still remained in his future.

When that moment came, he needed to be qualified to grab it.

“Phil is a good referee. He has been in the league for a long time,” O’Neill said. “I thought some calls to me were off the plate, but it’s his zone and I need to adjust as a player. Being with me is as disciplined as possible , Don’t miss the pitch you hit. That’s it. It just matures, that’s it. “

Eighth time, O’Neill got the pitch, crossed the left wing wall and hit it into a visiting bullpen for Goahead Homer. Undoubtedly the biggest swing of the Cardinals season, O’Neill drove St. Louis to victory seven times in a row.

O’Neill’s recent success brought the September OPS north of 1.000, even before Saturday’s explosion, but when he first ran, a strong outfielder was screaming in baseball. I was able to see it.

“I needed it,” O’Neill said. “The team needed it … it had to go for the boy. That’s it.”

I went and did it. And the crowd couldn’t get any more excited as the building erupted into the most noisy frenzy I’ve seen for quite some time.

“We love to feed it as players,” O’Neill said. “Fans are pushing this to the end. It motivated us. Especially I obviously. It kept me trapped. Play whenever you carry 40,000. It’s a little easier to do … I love hearing that passion that was there today. “

When asked about the environment established by Cardinals fans on Saturday, the club’s starting pitchers were decisive in its impact.

“It was the best crowd of the year,” Wainwright said. “It was arguably the best crowd we’ve seen since 2019, and they stood up and were violent. I’ve played some miserable balls at some point throughout the year. I know. And we had COVID’s. But Fans: I need you for the rest of the year as well. It was amazing. Just hearing that growl, the fans said I’ve been hooked from the first second of the game. It was an exciting game from the fan base tonight. It was really, really well done. Thank you for visiting. The rest of the way needs you. It’s great to have you because you play some big games. “

After that, Wainwright paused and then resumed. Apparently, he felt he had a few more words on the topic he wanted to express. Wainwright, who is still talking directly to his fans, has strengthened the value of future fan support, acknowledging the frustrating nature of the St. Louis season.

“Thank you for sticking to us,” he continued. “I know it’s frustrating. We’ve been frustrating for you. But we love you. I’m glad I came back.”

A similar crowd on Saturday was a rare sight this season, but it could be more common than moving forward. Highlight performances like O’Neill are not surprising that more people tend to come back as October approaches.

“The biggest thing that makes him consistent is knowing who he is,” Silt said of O’Neill’s growth into a universal threat to the Cardinals this season. .. “He knows who he is. He knows what’s going on. And he makes quick adjustments.”

If they didn’t know yet, the league is also learning who Tyler O’Neill is. For the Cardinals, he is the main catalyst for the team, which looks more dangerous day by day in post-season photos of the National League.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation) All copyrights are owned.

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‘A complete player’ O’Neill’s growth produces signature swing for Cardinals’ postseason push | St. Louis News Headlines Source link ‘A complete player’ O’Neill’s growth produces signature swing for Cardinals’ postseason push | St. Louis News Headlines

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