It’s been an odd couple of weeks for the St. Louis Cardinals. They won five straight road games in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, then lost five straight home games against Houston and Texas, and, most recently, swept the Cubs in Chicago for the first time in almost three decades.
Overall, the Cardinals (38-33) are 15-21 at home and 23-12 on the road.
That’s a little odd, no?
Yes. Definitely a little odd.
“We haven’t played that well at home, which is kind of weird,” Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “We’ve played really well on the road, not so great at home. We bounced back and played really well in Chicago. I don’t think we (had) swept the Cubs in Chicago in a three-game series since 1988. Outside of losing some close games this past home stand, we’ve been playing pretty good baseball.”
Indeed, the Cardinals outscored the Cubs 14-7 in their three-game sweep at Wrigley this week, with St. Louis getting to Jake Arrieta for the second time this season. Arrieta is 1-1 against the Cardinals this year and hasn’t gotten past the fight inning in either start.
“We did pretty well against him last time we played him at home,” Holliday said, referring to the Cardinals’ 9-8 loss on May 25. “I think they ended up winning the game, but I think we put some runs on him and got him out of the game early. We’ve actually done okay lately against him. We’ve driven his pitch count up and if you can get him out of the game in the fifth or sixth inning, you definitely have a better chance of winning the game against their bullpen than you do a guy like him. So we’ve had a pretty good plan, a pretty good approach against him the last couple times out, and we’ve been able to do some things.”
Last week, Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter stopped by The Doug Gottlieb Show and said he wasn’t ready to call the Cubs (47-23) the best team in baseball, despite the fact that they had the best record in baseball. After sweeping the Cubs in Chicago, Holliday isn’t ready to, either.
“They’re good,” Holliday said. “They’re really good. But I think it’s too early to say who’s the most complete team or who’s the team you really would give the edge to to win the World Series. Their record speaks for itself. They’ve played really good. Their starting rotation has been tremendous. If you look at the numbers of their five starters, they’re just great and they give their team a chance to win every single night. They’ve played great. But like I said, it’s too early to say. We’ve played some really good teams. The Giants are really good, the Rangers are really good and the Astros are good. So there’s some really good teams out there. There’s too much of the season left, I think, to declare anybody the best. But obviously some teams, to this point, have played better than anybody else – and they’re one of those teams.”
The Cardinals trail the Cubs by 9.5 games in the NL Central. These teams don’t meet again until a four-game series in Chicago the weekend of Aug. 11-14.