(Busch Stadium) In hockey, it’s said to be a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” when a player records a goal, assist, and fights in the same game. St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong didn’t drop the gloves but he hit almost every other statistical category in helping his team to a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“I love filling up the stat book and getting my uniform dirty, it’s all part of the fun of playing this game,” DeJong said.
A double and single extended his career-best hit streak to 10 games, and DeJong was also on base with a pair of walks and stole his first base of the season. He was also part of two double plays, including an unassisted effort by snagging a liner off the bat of Cody Bellinger.
“I liked the double-play up the middle,” said DeJong of which part of his game stood out. “Save a run right there, get out of the inning. The offensive stuff is good, I feel like I’m doing well at the plate and just want to continue that momentum.”
A double and single extended DeJong’s hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
“It’s all about preparing to win everyday,” DeJong said. “Jim Edmonds said something in spring about waking up knowing you’re going to compete that day and having that preparation start as soon as you wake up as opposed to putting it off or delaying the inevitable. It’s almost like charging head on into the competition just knowing that winning is hard and losing is easy, so going out there and trying to compete and giving it your all is really the only thing you can do.”
Rounding out his night, DeJong walked twice and stole his first base of the season. It was the third of his career, having stolen one in each of his first two seasons.
“I was happy I got the first one in the books–it’s something I’m trying to expand my game with,” said DeJong. “Double digits would be nice. Budda always jokes that one a week will get you 20-something. I mean, one a week sounds pretty manageable right now. It’s only April, but for me it’s just about taking those opportunities when I get them.”
OZUNA’S DEFENSIVE ATTEMPT
–When the ball left the bat of Enrique Hernandez to lead off the 8th inning, Marcell Ozuna raced back and scaled the wall in left field. The ball however, landed short of his estimation, bouncing off the warning track and over the wall for a ground rule double. Ozuna, who made an attempt to catch the ball, wound up laying flat and face down on the track. After a pause, he dusted himself off and finished the inning.
“Yeah, ‘A’ for effort,” Mike Shildt said. “He’s made a couple of those plays where he’s actually caught it and robbed a homer. I think he read it off the bat as a ball that had a really good chance to get out of the ballpark. He went back and gave himself a chance to rob it, didn’t quite have the read on it but appreciate the effort.”
Ozuna shared he wasn’t injured on the play. As one might expect, his teammates let him hear about his defense when he returned to the dugout.
“Yeah, they were laughing,” Ozuna said. “I was laughing too. It’s part of the game–I was too aggressive.”
“It was a funny play, I’m just glad that he’s okay,” said Yadier Molina.
"See, what had happened was…" – Marcell Ozuna, probably. pic.twitter.com/1pHXLaeDOq
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 10, 2019
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports