St. Louis Cardinals: Sweep of Chicago Cubs Is a Sign of Things to Come

Jacob Born@@Jacob_BornContributor IIIJuly 22, 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 22: Jon Jay #19 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a two-run double against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on July 22, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals have not been very good since the All-Star break losing five of their first six games, but after the weekend series with the Chicago Cubs, the Cards are sitting pretty.

Friday night started off with Kyle Lohse pitching against Ryan Dempster. The Cards gave Lohse run support immediately, scoring three runs in the first inning. Lohse responded by allowing only one run through seven innings, giving the the bullpen some much needed rest and leading St. Louis to a 4-1 victory.

Saturday night saw history. Jake Westbrook was on the mound for the Cardinals, and just like Lohse the night before, he went seven innings deep. Matt Garza started for the Cubs, but was forced to leave when he began experiencing arm stiffness. The teams were scoreless through six, and Westbrook was pitching three-hit ball through the seventh. And then the Cards came up to bat.

The Cardinals absolutely destroyed the Cubs after the stretch, putting up 12 runs and tying a franchise record. They also tied the MLB record for most doubles in an inning (seven). The Redbirds nearly batted around twice in the inning, and they scored only three runs less than they did in the first six games after the All-Star Game.

Sunday showed the Cardinals did not take their foot off the pedal. The Birds scored four runs in the first, and hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth. They scored seven runs without Rafael Furcal, Lance Berkman and Yadier Molina in the lineup, and Lance Lynn got his team-leading 12th win of the season. Lynn pitched the second shutout in as many games, and saw the Cubs' scoreless inning streak stretch to 25 innings.

This series was perfect for the Cardinals. In the first six games, they only scored 15 runs. In the three games against the Cubs, they scored 23. The pitching staff held their opponents to only one run in three games. The Cards came into the series 1-5 and were looking complacent with a third-place finish. The Cubs were 5-1 and looking to make a run for the ages. Now, the resurging Cardinals are looking to make a run at the division crown, and the Cubs look like what their record reflects.

Cardinal Nation, get ready for some exciting baseball.