Goldschmidt, Arenado homer in the same game for second straight day as Cardinals beat Brewers to extend division lead
Cardinals starter Jordan Montgomery threw a career-high 108 pitches across six scoreless innings.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado have been anchors at the corners of the Cardinals infield since the beginning of the 2021 season. Ever since Arenado’s arrival, fans have salivated at the notion: If only they both could ever get hot at the same time… Look out.
Well, it seems to be happening before our very eyes at an opportune time.
For the second day in a row and the eighth time since joining forces in St. Louis before last season, Goldschmidt and Arenado homered in the same game as the Cardinals beat the Brewers 3-1 on Friday night at Busch Stadium.
Though both players and the team’s manager stressed after the game that these Cardinals’ wins are full team efforts, it’s impossible to deny the scoreboard from this one—without a pair of powerful swings from the Goldenado duo, the result that put the Cardinals back ahead of the Brewers by 1.5 games in the NL Central standings doesn’t happen.
Goldschmidt was slow out of the gate in April, but has since been destroying baseballs with regularity. He paces all National League hitters this season in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Goldy added to a convincing MVP resume Friday night, cranking a line drive over the wall in left-center field to put the Cardinals ahead of the Brewers, 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. His 28th homer of the season puts Goldschmidt fourth on the NL leaderboard; his 92 RBIs rank second.
Arenado, meanwhile, got off to a roaring start to his season before slumping with a sub-.200 batting average in May. He and Goldschmidt were like two ships passing in the night. But now, Nolan is catching his stride as Goldy maintains his. Arenado has been warming back up since mid-June and has gone certifably nuclear through the early part of August.
Since the beginning of the month, Arenado is slugging 1.000 and is getting on base in nearly half off his plate appearances (.488 OBP).
When Goldschmidt and Arenado both homered in Thursday’s 8-6 loss to the Rockies, it was the eighth time the duo had combined to homer in the same game since both joined the Cardinals—but the first time that had ever happened where the Cardinals didn’t win the game. Friday, they figured they’d do it again to restore the positive vibes.
When you’ve got two bona fide MVP candidates batting in the same lineup, those kinds of feats aren’t all too difficult to pull off, apparently. So what do the Cardinals’ modern-day version of the Bash Brothers say to one another in these stretches where one of them seems just as locked-in as the other in the batter’s box?
“We don’t really talk about it, to be quite honest with you. We talk about Entourage and shows and stuff,” Arenado said with a laugh.
Aside from their joint enjoyment of decades-old HBO dramas, the duo obviously shares other commonalities—important ones between the white lines.
“We both want to win,” Goldschmidt said. “We’ve been to the playoffs a few times each but we haven’t got to the World Series or won it. When that’s the focus, it makes things easier. In the back of your mind, that’s what the goal is. And I think that everyone in this locker room feels the same way.”
It’s a viewpoint that has been steady for Arenado, and he’s been vocal about it throughout this season: He wants to win a division title and get back to the playoffs—and play well when he gets there.
Arenado mentioned Friday night that one of many motivating factors for him is that he hasn’t played well in his scattered postseason opportunities—he’s posted just a .160 batting average in 25 career playoff at-bats. So he wants another crack it at.
Don’t get it twisted, he wants it all, he wants that World Series. Celebrating that division crown is just where Arenado believes that chase ought to begin.
“That’s the first step for me,” Arenado said. “Let’s win the division and make our way there.”
Friday, both veteran superstars helped the Cardinals inch their way closer to that coveted NL Central title by knocking the Brewers down a peg. The other element that made the tightly-contested victory possible was a standout performance from the pitching staff—and Jordan Montgomery fits this team like a glove.
One of John Mozeliak’s dandy deadline acquisitions threw six more scoreless innings Friday to bring his total to 11 shutout frames since joining the Cardinals. The newest Redbird grinded through 108 pitches, the highest pitch count of his MLB career, before punching out Keston Hiura to end the top of the sixth.
The typically-reserved Montgomery pumped some high-heat and then let out a burst of emotion that divulged just much a moment like that meant to the supremely competitive lefty.
“After walking (Hunter) Renfroe, I was just wanting to get after that guy, get the job done,” Montgomery said plainly. “I was happy about it… I definitely wanted to make a good first couple of impressions and help us win.”
Montgomery’s competitive drive, Jose Quintana’s poise, Chris Stratton’s willingness to take the ball in any situation. The vibes of the clubhouse are still glowing after the front office pulled the proper strings ahead of the trade deadline, adding to this roster exactly what it needed.
“Every guy we got fits our clubhouse extremely well,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “The more guys you get that compete the way those guys do, it’s a fun clubhouse to be in.”
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