The National League Player of the Month award has found a home with the St. Louis Cardinals, who continue their five-game series against the host Chicago Cubs with a doubleheader on Saturday.
First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is the third consecutive Cardinals player to win the award, following third baseman Nolan Arenado (April) and outfielder Tyler O’Neill (September 2021).
Goldschmidt received the honor for May after batting .404 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs. He maintained his sizzling pace on Friday, when he extended his hitting streak to 25 games and reached safely for a career-best 39th consecutive game.
“I mean, he’s doing incredible things, but if you watch him every day and you’ve played with him for more than just this year, there’s always a streak like this,” Cardinals pitcher Dakota Hudson said. “It’s just fun to watch a great player be great. It’s been fun to watch, and we’re all enjoying it.”
Goldschmidt blasted a three-run homer in the Cardinals’ 14-5 victory over the Cubs on Friday as St. Louis bounced back from a 7-5 loss in the series opener.
Chicago, which had its three-game winning streak snapped on Friday, will promote top pitching prospect Caleb Kilian from Triple-A Iowa to start Game 2 of the Saturday doubleheader.
Kilian, who turned 25 on Thursday, was acquired from the San Francisco Giants last summer as part of the Kris Bryant trade. He will be making his major league debut after going 2-0 with a 2.06 ERA in nine Triple-A starts this season.
“He’s a hard worker with good makeup,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “He’s got a real chance to be a big-league starter. I know he wants to grow, wants to learn. There’s a good energy about him.”
Right-hander Matt Swarmer (0-0, 1.50 ERA) is expected to start Game 1 for Chicago. He made a strong major league debut against the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, allowing four runs (one earned) on five hits over six innings. He struck out six and walked one.
“It never felt like he sped up, which happens to a lot of guys,” Ross said. “Just continued to control what he could control, and I think that definitely stands out from a guy making his first start, first time in the big leagues.”
St. Louis listed right-handers Andre Pallante (1-0, 1.07 ERA) and Johan Oviedo (season debut) as its starting pitchers for Saturday, with the order still to be determined.
Pallante, 23, will be making his first career start after allowing a total of three runs across 25 1/3 innings in 17 relief appearances.
Oviedo, 24, will be recalled from the minors for the Saturday start. He is 4-2 with a 5.58 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A Memphis this season.
Oviedo is returning to the Cardinals after going 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) at the major league level last season.
St. Louis has received a spark from rookie second baseman Nolan Gorman, who has three homers and 10 RBIs in his first 11 games with the club.
Chicago has several hitters heating up, including first baseman Patrick Wisdom, who hit his team-leading 12th home run on Thursday.
Wisdom is batting .286 (16-for-56) with two doubles, six homers and 14 RBIs in his past 15 games. In his previous 34 games this year, he hit .205 with eight doubles, six homers and 17 RBIs.
Cubs rookie Christopher Morel singled in the third inning on Friday to extend his career-opening on-base streak to 17 games.
–Field Level Media