So, let’s get the obvious answer out of the way. The Cardinals fired Mike Matheny and thus made the team significantly better, but for the purpose of this list I will be talking about moments on the field regarding player performance. But I am aware that many of you out there were ecstatic when Matheny was let go and Mike Shildt took over.
@AaronArchCity July 14, 2018. I’m not kidding.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get started!
Honorable Mention – Gant hits HR for First and Second Career Hit
Talk about a weird statistic. Not only was Gant able to hit a HR for his first career hit, but he hit another later in the season for his 2nd career hit. Both Gant and Mikolas each had multiple homers on the season and Carlos Martinez also hit one for himself. Pitchers for the Cardinals showed they can rake!
10. Mikolas gets first career hit/HR against Milwaukee – April 2, 2o18
In his first start of the season for St. Louis, pitcher Miles Mikolas helps his own cause with a 2-Run blast off of Brewers pitcher Zach Davies. It was his first career home run and also his first career hit. Mikolas pitched 5.2 innings in route to his first career win as well. Take a look at the shot here!
Video courtesy of MLB
9. Jordan Hicks ties MLB Record for fastest pitch – May 20, 2018
Jordan Hicks tied the MLB record with a blistering 105.1 MPH sinker against Herrera. What’s more impressive is that in this at bat alone, Hicks threw 4 of the 8 fastest pitches of the year. Talk about a stressful AB for Odubel Herrera. Hicks made the jump from A ball in 2017 to a force in the Cardinals bullpen in 2018. As time goes along, his command should improve and the numbers could start rising. Let’s cross our fingers
8. Miles Mikolas throws Shutout vs KC – May 21, 2018
Mikolas was one of the biggest surprises of the year across Major League Baseball. On May 21st, Mikolas threw a 4 hit shutout against Kansas City, and suddenly Major League Baseball had to take notice. He only surrendered one walk in the contest while striking out 9. He managed this on just 109 pitches at that. Complete game shutouts were tough to come by in the NL in 2018, so having one from Mikolas is certainly a positive.
7. Fowler Walk Off vs Cubs for Sweep – May 6, 2018
Fowler wasn’t able to contribute much to the Cardinals in 2018, but watching him hit his first career walk-off home run against his former team was pretty cool to see. What’s even better is that the ESPN crew clearly wanted the Cubs to win and watching their disappointment made me laugh. It took 14 innings, but the Cardinals held on for a sweep thanks to this shot by Fowler that just cleared the wall.
Video courtesy of MLB
6. Kolten Wong robs Justin Turner of hit – Play of the Year defensively
Kolten Wong “should” win a gold glove this year. This play is just one demonstration as to why. Wong has become an elite defender at 2B, and I personally can’t wait to watch more highlights from him in 2019. This play is ridiculous.
Video courtesy of MLB Tonight
5. Poncedelon goes 7 No-Hit Innings in Debut – July 23, 2018
Daniel Poncedeleon has a wonderful story back to baseball and the only thing that would have made his debut sweeter would be if the Cardinals managed to hold on for the win. But Poncedeleon was magnificent going 7 innings and striking out 3 and allowing 3 walks. If it wasn’t for a high pitch count, Ponce could have gone back out in an effort to finish the job. I’m glad that he was able to get back into baseball and have success.
4. Carpenter goes 5-5, 3 HR, 2 2B vs Cubs – July 20, 2018
This is actually one of 2 times that Carpenter went 5-5 with multiple home runs this season, but this one is the top Gamescore performance in MLB. He had 7 RBI’s on the night while the Cardinals won 18-5. His MVP consideration certainly went up after this game.
3. Cardinals erase 3 run deficit to Walk off vs Pirates – May 31, 2018
This was easily one of the most entertaining ends to a game this past season. The Cards went into the bottom of the 9th down 8-5, and Yairo Munoz hits a 3 Run Bomb to end the game with the Cardinals on top 10-5. You’ve got to check this out. In fact, just watch the whole inning. It’s worth it.
Video courtesy of MLB
2. Tyler O’Neill Walk-Off vs Giants – September 22, 2018
This one is special especially because of the timing of the blast. The Cardinals were in the thick of a playoff race and Tyler O’Neill blasts a home run off of Mark Melancon for a sweep of the San Fransisco Giants. The Cardinals players took it upon themselves to show the world how often O’Neill goes to the gym. It was a fun moment to watch the Cards have some fun. Also, it was Tyler’s Mom’s birthday, so Tyler pulled through.
ANNOUNCER: 2-2 pitch. In the air to left field for O’Neill. That ball is back and that ball is gone. The Cardinals are going to walk it off. They win at for 5-4 as Tyler O’Neill takes it out of the yard off Mark Melancon. And the Cardinals can celebrate.
1. Mikolas Wins #18 – Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive vs Cubs – September 29, 2018
The best part about this game is that in a way helped the Brewers overtake Chicago, forcing the Cubs into a Wild Card game against Colorado, which they then lost. So thank you to Miles Mikolas for having a spectacular start. Mikolas went 8 innings and struck out 6. The only run was surrendered in the first inning on an error by Yairo Munoz. Mikolas improved to 18-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 2.83. This final start for Mikolas also helped him to reach the 200 inning mark. With the Cardinals still being in contention at this point, it was a good thing to see Mikolas get better down the stretch. His month of September was spectacular. In fact, the Cardinals last two victories both came on starts by Miles Mikolas.
So there you have it everybody! I’m sure there are moments I could have missed. Feel free to comment some of your favorites (that don’t involve Matheny).
Thanks for Reading!