The St. Louis Cardinals saw their absurd 17-game win streak come to an end on Wednesday at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.
While the run is over, it will never be forgotten, and the streak changed everything for the Cardinals’ 2021 season.
Before it started, the club was battling to stay alive in the NL Wild Card race.
Now, St. Louis is guaranteed to be postseason-bound.
Countless players contributed to the team’s run, but three in particular rose to the occasion.
Let’s rank them.
3. Tyler O’Neill
Tyler O’Neill has had a great 2021 season, but he took things to another level during St. Louis’ win streak.
He slugged .676 during the streak thanks to seven home runs and three doubles.
In all, his slash line looked like this: .324/.365/.676.
The 26-year-old has a lot to be proud of this season.
TYLER O'NEILL HAS LEFT THE BUILDING (literally) pic.twitter.com/9kEk9RJk34
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 24, 2021
He is in his fourth year at the MLB level, and he has a whopping 5.7 WAR in 2021.
For context, his career-high for WAR in a single season (before 2021) was 1.2.
That’s a massive leap, and he’s on a great trajectory for the future.
2. Harrison Bader
Some MLB fans probably hadn’t even heard of Harrison Bader a few weeks ago.
— The Dude (@Turn2Dude) September 27, 2021
The 27-year-old went on a ridiculous tear during the Cardinals’ win streak, slashing .391/.418/.719.
He homered four times and doubled nine times.
At one point during the team’s win streak, Bader had a four-game span in which he batted .667 with a 2.133 OPS with three home runs and three doubles.
The former third-round pick will look to stay hot when the playoffs roll around, because St. Louis is obviously a better team when he’s producing like this.
1. Paul Goldschmidt
At 34 years old, Paul Goldschmidt is still one of the most consistent players in baseball on a year-to-year basis.
He currently leads the NL in total bases with 307, and he has a massive 6.2 WAR on the year.
And during the Cardinals’ win streak, he played some of the best baseball of his career.
He batted .391 with a 1.317 OPS during the span, blasting seven home runs and eight doubles.
As a @Cardinals hitter, Paul Goldschmidt has 3 HR that have gone 464+ ft.
No St. Louis player since 2015 has more than 1. pic.twitter.com/8JmYLOIJU7
— MLB (@MLB) September 26, 2021
Over the 17-game stretch, he had nine multi-hit showings.
He also drove in 16 runs.
Goldschmidt isn’t going to win the NL MVP award, but he certainly deserves to show up on some ballots.
The six-time All-Star is one of the biggest reasons why St. Louis is headed to the postseason.
The Cardinals are clearly hot at the right time.
In less than a week, the National League Wild Card Game will take place.
If the club can keep things rolling up until then, then we may very well see a 100-win team (either the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants) sent home on the first day of the NL postseason.
The Cardinals have the necessary talent to make a legitimate playoff run, and we’ll just have to wait and see if the stars align for the club.
The 17-game win streak may be over, but St. Louis is just getting started.NEXT: Cardinals May Enter Playoffs As Hottest Team In MLB