Home News Nolan Gorman hits another go-ahead homer in Cardinals’ win

Nolan Gorman hits another go-ahead homer in Cardinals’ win

by admin

DENVER — For some, just “playing two” is fun enough. Not for Nolan Gorman.

The 22-year-old second baseman went deep to deliver a go-ahead home run in each of the Cardinals’ last two contests, securing the series win and salvaging a .500 road trip with a pair of heroic blasts. His decisive solo smash came in the ninth inning on Tuesday, and he followed it up with a two-run homer in the eighth in Wednesday’s 7-4 win over the Rockies at Coors Field.

While his rookie teammate Jordan Walker was making history by tying an 111-year-old record with a 12-game hitting streak to open his MLB career, Gorman joined an elite quartet of Cardinals who have hit go-ahead homers in the eighth inning or later in back-to-back games: Stan Musial (1948), Jose Cruz (1973) and Albert Pujols (2011).

Gorman’s homers seemed especially meaningful because they put the 5-7 Cards on the upswing after a difficult patch through their first 10 games.

“Early on, you’re wanting to instill confidence in guys, and this is a great start for him to build off,” manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s hitting meaningful home runs, not just home runs in the third when you’re up four. They’re in tie ballgames to give you the lead. That’s been really, really good.”

Early in his sophomore season, Gorman leads the club with four home runs — he had 14 last year in 89 games — and his quick growth is not hard to chart.

“Obviously we were able to notice the mechanical adjustment that he’s made, and he has an answer for a lot of different pitches and locations compared to last year,” Marmol said. “But just overall demeanor and his poise — there’s a calmness to him, there’s a confidence to him. He knows he’s good, and he’s taking the field with that demeanor every day. It’s been fun to watch.”

Gorman is hitting .313 (10-for-32) in 10 games, and his role in turning around the series in Colorado came virtue of his most clutch moments of the young season. And while he may not have known the company of Cardinals greats he joined, the significance of the moment was not lost on him — particularly in terms of the effect the turnaround could have on the Cardinals’ upcoming series.

“It’s awesome,” Gorman said. “Everyone’s excited in here. It’s my atmosphere. I’m just going to keep it rolling.”

On Tuesday, Gorman was coming off the bench, though his ninth-inning game-winner was his second at-bat after pinch-hitting in the seventh. On Wednesday, he got the start, but to him, it’s all the same approach.

“The only difference I think is two more at-bats,” Gorman said. “That’s not a big difference, because I’m staying ready the whole game if I’m not playing.”

The winning effort started with Jack Flaherty’s 5 1/3-inning start, in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk while striking out six. For a Coors Field debut, it was quite the mystique-buster.

“If you execute your pitches, good things are gonna happen — that’s what I was told,” Flaherty said of pitching in the mile-high atmosphere. “There was no real reason to think about the ‘what ifs’ of not executing. That just leads to trouble, and you start wondering about things. All you can do is keep making pitches. There’s no real difference.”

He was effective getting swing-and-misses with his slider, spotting it down and in to lefties and away from righties while augmenting it with a good mix of cutters.

Early in the game, Nolan Arenado took his own bite of history with a two-run homer in the fourth that tied him with Carlos González for the third most career home runs at Coors Field with 139. He and González trail only Todd Helton (227) and Hall of Famer Larry Walker (154).

“Tying CarGo is cool,” Arenado said. “He was a great player here, and he’s a great friend of mine. Too bad I didn’t hit one more so I can beat him and have that over him. CarGo was a mentor for me, someone that I have the utmost respect for, and he’s a great friend, so it’s cool to tie him.”

The win sets the Cardinals up to build momentum as they start a seven-game homestand Thursday against the Pirates.

“We needed to win a series,” Arenado said. “We need to go home on a good note. We’re really happy.”

Source Link

You may also like

Leave a Comment