If it were going to happen anywhere, it was going to happen in Chicago.
Going into their first matchup of the 2023 season against the rival Chicago Cubs, the Cardinals were 0-11 in the opening game of the series. Thanks to Willson Contreras (2-4, 2 RBI), a promising start by Miles Mikolas (4.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 SO), and a shutdown performance by the bullpen (combined 4.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R), St. Louis finally snapped their cold streak, winning the first game of their first series against the Cubs. The win made for the second win in a row for the Cardinals, bringing them to a 12-24 record. The last time the Cardinals won back-to-back games this season was April 11-12 against the Colorado Rockies.
When it comes to signs being pointed in the right direction, it’s hard to ignore the job that Jordan Hicks delivered in his two innings of relief. The young flamethrower only allowed one walk while not allowing a single hit and striking out both Miguel Amaya and Ian Happ. While his numbers aren’t what anybody had hoped they would be, seeing him perform this is a step in the right direction. Having him direct his course to be a consistent fireballer who can locate his stuff would be something that the Cardinals would definitely benefit from.
$87.5 million man Willson Contreras found himself the center of attention through the entire course of his visit to Wrigley Field for the first time since departing from the Cubs. Greeted with cheers during pre-game by the Wrigley faithful, receiving boos from those same fans who weren’t too fond of Contreras slapping hits all around the field to propel his new team to the win and describing his feelings of returning to the Friendly Confines after the game.
“I was trying to enjoy every second. I was just having fun.”
The Cardinals-Cubs rivalry just might be the fire that St. Louis needs to keep fueling their flame as they look to win their third consecutive game of the season, something they are yet to do this season.