e next man up mentality that the team showed offensively

e next man up mentality that the team showed offensively

28.07.2017 04:38

n Monday s series opener against the Rockies, Cardinals outfielder Randal Grichuk achieved something he d never done before in his big league career.

The slugger hit his fourth home run in as many games, doubling his longest previous streak of games with a homer. He was named Monday s player of the game and was interviewed on the Busch Stadium field afterwards.

In Wednesday s 10 5 win, Grichuk recorded another career high four base hits in one game.


There was no player of the game honor or standing ovation. http://www.cardinalsfanaticsjersey.com/matt-adams-jersey-c-15.html The hits were all singles, much less exciting to fans than balls smacked over the fence.

But for the boom or bust Grichuk, Wednesday s feat might be more surprising than his home run streak.

Grichuk has struck out in 32 percent of his at bats this season. When he s playing well offensively, the slugger makes up for his high number of strikeouts with frequent home runs, like he did last week.

But when his power is slumping, Grichuk and his high strikeout rate become a liability. In May, he was sent to the Cardinals training facility in Jupiter, Fla. to work on his strike zone awareness. He then played 14 games for Class AAA Memphis, only returning to the Cardinals when Dexter Fowler was placed on the DL with a heel spur.

Grichuk s first at bat Wednesday was a familiar sight. He chased a Jeff Hoffman slider down and away for strike three. But Grichuk reversed the trend in his second at bat when he lined a hit through the gap into right field in the bottom of the fourth inning.

The hit proved important. Grichuk scored three batters later, when starting pitcher Carlos Martinez hit a single of his own. Grichuk s run momentarily tied the game at 4 4, and the Cardinals went on to score three more runs in the inning, seizing a lead they wouldn t relinquish.

The right handed Grichuk said the Rockies left the gap between first and second base open during his at bats, so he took advantage. His hit in the sixth inning passed through the same opening. Overall, Grichuk said the performance resulted from him taking advantage of the opportunities presented to him rather than trying to swing for the fences an approach he might not have taken earlier this season.


Just try to take the knock that they give me, don’t try to do too much, Grichuk said of his approach. I also had a little bit of luck on my side http://www.cardinalsfanaticsjersey.com/aledmys-diaz-jersey-c-17.html, too, in some other at bats.”

As he suggested, two of Grichuk s hits came on fairly routine ground balls, though he certainly helped his case with his speed from home plate to first base. In the fifth inning, he beat out a throw from Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. In the eighth he hit a soft grounder to first baseman Mark Reynolds, but reliever Adam Ottavino failed to step on the bag after running over and receiving Reynolds toss.

The rest of the Cardinals lineup mirrored Grichuk s approach.

The team recorded 15 hits on the night http://www.cardinalsfanaticsjersey.com/matt-carpenter-jersey-c-16.html, and only its first two runs came via homer. During the pivotal fourth inning, in which the Cardinals scored five runs, the team put five runners on base with three singles, a double and a walk.

Shortstop Paul DeJong, who is enjoying a Grichuk like power surge with eight homers in July, including the two run shot in the first inning Wednesday, described the team s offensive performance as passing the baton to the next hitter.

Right now I think our offense is really the best I’ve seen it since I’ve been up here,” DeJong said.

When asked whether a performance like Wednesday s was more valuable to the team than, say, Monday s, when he went one for four with a homer, Grichuk said it depends on the situation. When hits are hard to come by, he said the home run might be more valuable. But he agreed with DeJong that the next man up mentality that the team showed offensively Wednesday spurred the sweep clinching victory.

Gricuk s performance was also important for him personally. Power surges inevitably give way to droughts, but if he can continue to get on base like he did Wednesday when he s not hitting a home run every day Eric Fryer Jersey, he believes he can earn an everyday role in the crowded Cardinals outfield.

It’s definitely a numbers game, and base hits, getting the average up, getting the on base percentage up, that’s definitely good to stay up here and stay in the lineup.”


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