Yankees: Three lessons from the weekend set

With a commanding three-game sweep, the St. Louis Cardinals appeared to surprise the New York Yankees.

The St. Louis Cardinals demonstrated that they were a revitalized and improved squad with victories over the New York Yankees of 4-3 on Friday, 1-0 on Saturday, and 12-9 on Sunday.

It’s safe to say that the majority of people thought the Cardinals and Yankees’ three-game series would be thrilling. Few people predicted that the Cardinals would perform well and win the series.

But Cardinal supporters received a welcome surprise thanks to a few reliable veterans making their comebacks and a young pitcher ready to impress in his debut.

Let’s examine three things that this sweep taught us about the Cardinals.

3. The rotation is better with Jordan Montgomery in it

The surprise of the trade deadline for the Yankees and Cardinals was Montgomery. Harrison Bader didn’t seem to be a target for a trade. Who would have believed that the Yankees, who were currently in first place, would trade a starter? Montgomery was starting.

Cardinals fans are glad they did!

Montgomery is now 4-3 on the year after picking up his first victory for the Cardinals. On Saturday, he threw five innings, allowing two hits, a walk, and one strikeout. According to Baseball Reference, 73.3 percent of his pitches in his Saturday appearance resulted in ground ball outs.

It was wonderful to watch a pitcher have a dominant performance like Montgomery because the Cardinals’ starting pitching has recently been somewhat dramatic.

Montgomery had a strong performance for the Cardinals, and the organization is hoping that he will continue in the upcoming weeks, save from a brief period when training personnel had to go see him on the mound due to pain brought on by the summer heat and humidity.

2. The timing of Paul DeJong’s comeback was ideal

DeJong’s 2022 season got off to a horrible start. DeJong seemed to have identified his problem after being dropped to AAA Memphis. The Cardinals seem to have trusted DeJong to sort things out and mount a return, despite the fact that many had him on the trade market or worse.

Their bet appears to have been profitable.

On Friday, DeJong scored Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill with the game-winning hit in the eighth inning off Clay Holmes. In addition, he had a 2-for-4 day on Sunday with two walks, three runs, and four RBI. DeJong doubled to right field in the fifth inning to bring home Lars Nootbaar.

And in the eighth inning, DeJong hit his fourth home run of the year to bring in the winning runs. Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill were both credited with runs on Scott Effross’ opposite-field fly to left field.

DeJong’s comeback has been amazing to behold, and we all hope he keeps using that newly found mojo.

1. The team’s captain is Yadier Molina.

Molina triumphantly returned from his time on the injured list that sent him back to Puerto Rico after several weeks due to knee difficulties. The atmosphere on the team has significantly improved since then.

The Cardinals’ clubhouse and field leader, who appears to be quiet, is back, and his presence is acknowledged. It’s easy to observe Molina’s influence, whether he’s assisting his pitching staff in preventing outside interference, encouraging his teammates at the plate, or guiding them through the base paths.

These are Molina’s final months playing with the Cardinals. It’s obvious that the future Hall of Famers’ teammates want these recent weeks to stand out.