St. Louis Cardinals signed virtually an unknown last year in the off season. Miles Mikolas who hadn't pitched a ball in the MLB since August 25, 2014. He began his major league career with the San Diego Padres in 2012-2013 in relief. In 2014, he made ten starts for the Texas Rangers closing his season with 2-5/ 6.44 ERA. In Cardinals 2018 Spring Training, Cardinals fans were introduced to this prospective starter. Mikolas gave up 1 HR/6 ER in just 1.2 IP. However, in his next ST starts, fans began to see the potential in this pitcher that had spent his last three seasons with the leagues in Japan.
Miles Mikolas, in Cardinals 9-2 win Sunday to sweep the San Francisco Giants, notched his fourth straight win in as many starts this month. (Photo: Dilip Vishwanat - Getty Images)
Mikolas closed his last five Spring starts, 21 IP/1 HR/6 ER/4 BB/16 SO. He brought a healthy 4.80 WHIP down to an efficient 1.05 WHIP. Cardinals fans were pleased to see the much improved, but would not realize what a force the organization had signed until the season progressed.
He was 6-0 in ten starts to begin the first two months this season holding a 2.58 ERA. He has only moved forward with continued solid performances. He's not a flashy pitcher, not a lot of strikeouts, but manages his time on the hill well holding a 1.09 WHIP. In his 31 starts this season, has only issued 29 walks.
Sunday facing the Giants, Miles Mikolas tossed his 17 win to match that with Washington Nationals Max Scherzer. Mikolas is 17-4/2.94 ERA/140 SO. Scherzer is 17-7/2.57 ERA/290 SO for his fifth straight season with 250 strikeouts. Scherzer has logged his sixth season 200+ IP. Mikolas is flirting with 200 IP. After Sunday's outing he has logged 192.2 innings.
Each have one more start and Scherzer should record his career best with 300 SO and close to 225 IP. Phenomenal pitcher, hands down.
Mikolas, his next start Saturday, September 29 facing the Chicago Cubs. He would need to go deep, 7.1 IP to see an even 200. Even if he should fall short, that would not be a reflection to dim his outstanding season. He has given the Cardinals a definite boost in their rotation. And, he has quieted the disbelievers along the way.
In our modern major league baseball not an too many starters get close to 200 IP in a season. This would be quite the feat for Mikolas in his first season back from overseas. And, as a Cardinals.
CARDINALS CONTINUE TO HOLD THE #2 NL WILD CARD
With the Cardinals win Sunday behind Mikolas, they hold their #2 NL Wild Card spot 1.5 games ahead of the Colorado Rockies. The Cardinals will look to maintain as they host the Milwaukee Brewers (second place in the NL Central Division), then will travel to Wrigley Field for their final series against the NL Central first place Chicago Cubs.
NEXT UP ~ FIRST PITCH AT 7:15 CST.
Cardinals rookie Jack Flaherty (8-8/3.08 ERA) will make the start against the incoming Brewers. Manager Mike Shildt switched Flaherty and Gomber for the first two games. This puts Flaherty in position to
make the last start this season facing the Cubs, or the Wild Card game.
He has pitched well facing the Brewers. In three starts, he is 1-0/1.00 ERA. Flaherty has only given up 1 HR/2 ER in his 18 IP facing Milwaukee.
However, at this point of the morning, Brewers starter has yet to be announced.
NL DESIGNATED HITTER REVISITED
I, personally, still hold with no designated hitter in the National League is needed. There have been comments MLB will make it so "soon". To me that would be a sad decision. Leave baseball alone. No more changes necessary. This particular rule, leave the National League and the American League as is.
I feel the nine to take the field should be the same nine to the plate. And, in my opinion, Cardinals Adam Wainwright and Miles Mikolas agree. In the series against the Giants, Wainwright slugged in a RBI single in Saturday's game. Mikolas added his RBI single in Sunday's game to add to his season 9 hits/4 Runs/1-2B/2 HR for 6 RBI. There is a certain degree of pride by a pitcher who helps on the offensive side.
With Wainwright's very short 2018 season due to being on the 60-Day DL, his RBI Sunday was his first recorded in this season. However, 2017, he logged 11 Hits/7 Runs/2-2B/2 HR/11 RBI.
Do either have an extreme BA? Heck, no. Even though, to see your starting pitcher slugged out a hit, to add a RBI on a single, double or home run - is fun to see.
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