After a weekend series sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Los Angeles Dodgers are multiple games over .500 for the first time since April 7. LA quickly erased the disappointing series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates and outscored STL 14-4 over the three-game set.
But that was hardly the best part. The Dodgers' 6-3 win on Sunday slammed the door shut on an awful Cardinals road trip and solidified the NL rival's worst start to a season in 50 years. That's still not good enough for us to put the 2013 and 2014 playoffs behind us.
What added to the fun was former Cardinal and Dodger Albert Pujols being in attendance for Friday night's game. He watched the Dodgers score seven runs on nine hits and four walks ... with another former Cardinal Jason Heyward going 2-for-2 with two RBI. How about these parallels?!
Pujols' rooting interest was unclear since he was wearing a hat with a paper airplane on it, but Dodgers fans know the love he has for the franchise after his short stint in LA. And we'd venture to say he was a bit disappointed after giving the Cardinals a pep talk a little over a week ago when they were 8-11 and ready to head out on their road trip.
Dodgers sweeping Cardinals was satisfying with Albert Pujols in attendance
Bad timing for the Cards, just as the Dodgers got a slew of players back from the paternity and injured lists, including Mookie Betts, Max Muncy, Evan Phillips and Will Smith. Could still use Pujols somewhere in that lineup, though, with guys like Trayce Thomspon, David Peralta, Miguel Vargas and Chris Taylor struggling. Plus, another veteran voice wouldn't hurt, either.
The Cardinals are in more desperate need of the future Hall of Famer's services. He was a key cog in the division-winning 2022 club, and St. Louis needs all the offense it can get with their struggling pitching staff weighing them down. The unit's 4.45 ERA and 1.45 WHIP rank 19th and 26th in MLB. The offense's 123 runs scored (18th in MLB) isn't entirely impressive, but their overall numbers suggest a bounce-back is in the works.
St. Louis will host the Dodgers for a four-game set beginning on May 18, at which point they'll need to figure it out with how their season is trending. The Cardinals were supposed to be far better off than the Dodgers with their mix of star-studded veterans and promising up-and-coming young talent.
Despite being in a worse position, the early returns on the Dodgers' comparable process have been better. Something tells us Albert isn't surprised, but he surely doesn't want to give another motivational speech should the Cardinals continue their tailspin.