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When the St. Louis Cardinals were struggling in early July, pitcher Miles Mikolas burned sage inside Busch Stadium. Somehow, that changed everything.
Locked in an NL Central race that was tight at the time, the beginning of July was not what the St. Louis Cardinals wanted to see. In the first nine games of the month, the club was just 2-7 and struggling mightily, particularly at the plate as they were shut out in four of the seven losses and scored one run in another.
Pitcher Miles Mikolas took it into his own hands to try and fix that with a holistic ritual.
The veteran hurler went out into the outfield of Busch Stadium and burned sage on July 10 to try and ward off the evil spirits that had apparently inhabited the Redbirds bats, a tried and true holistic remedy.
That worked immediately as the Cardinals won that day’s game, 4-3. But even crazier is the fact that it has continued to work to a remarkable degree.
STL Cardinals: Miles Mikolas’ burning sage sparked incredible run at the plate
As pointed out by Reddit user “dwigt_rortugal_”, the Cardinals have four the five best hitters in the National League in terms of wRC+ (a metric to measure runs created at the plate). As you’d expect, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are among the four St. Louis players in the Top 5, joined by Lars Nootbar.
But incredibly, it’s the ageless Albert Pujols who has been the best hitter in the National League since the sage burning at Busch Stadium by wRC+.
What’s more, this measure was taken prior to Sunday’s game as the Cardinals beat the Cubs behind a pinch-hit home run from Pujols, meaning that his status was just furthered in his latest plate appearance.
Should burning sage be considered PED usage? It might sound like a crazy question, but St. Louis’ turnaround since Mikolas deployed his sage at the stadium suggests it might should be.