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MLB St Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals Welcome Back Matt Adams

Matt Adams Cardinals

Scott Rovak — USA TODAY Sports

With one swing of his bat Saturday night, Matt Adams made one statement on behalf of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I’m back.

Adams, who spent time on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained calf, hit a homer in his first at-bat off the DL on Friday. In Saturday’s game against the Washington Nationals, Adams smacked a grand slam.

Is it any coincidence the Cardinals won both games?

Adams’ return has sparked the Cardinals in more ways than one. A lot of Cardinal fans are hoping for a slump from the Milwaukee Brewers, but so far the Brewers haven’t obliged. That means the Cardinals have to get better on their own, and this is a start.

When Adams went down with the calf injury, the Cardinals were struggling. They went 5-8 from May 29 up to Friday, but three wins in a stretch from June 7-10 accounted for most of the success.

The reality is they missed Adams when he was gone. The Cardinals were shut out by the San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals. They only scored one run in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

These are not the Cardinals most fans have grown to know and love over the years.

Yet they are still in second place in the National League Central. However, the reality is there, cold as it is. The Cardinals are closer to the third-place Pittsburgh Pirates and fourth-place Cincinnati Reds than they are to the Brewers.

This is largely because the bats have been silent at times this season. Oscar Taveras, who had his first stint in the major leagues when Adams was on the DL, is now back in Memphis. His time will come, but that time isn’t now.

Instead, Adams and his .330 batting average are firmly in the middle of the lineup.

When Albert Pujols left for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he was dearly missed by Cardinals fans. However, many were aware of the potential Adams flashed in the minors so they accepted Pujols’ departure.

Pujols has been in Anaheim for nearly two and a half seasons now, and the Cardinals haven’t missed a beat. This year is different. There is plenty of time to make up the lost ground, but there is something missing from the Cardinal lineup.

Adams’ return may just be the spark this team needs.

Welcome back.

Steve Ungrey is a St. Louis Cardinals writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter (@steveungrey), like him on Facebook and add him on Google.