Not content with 15 straight wins, St. Louis Cardinals have 'bigger things that we're focused on'

CHICAGO -- The St. Louis Cardinals set a franchise record with their 15th consecutive victory, a come-from-behind 8-5 win over the Chicago Cubs Saturday.

"It's hard to do something in this organization that's never been done, as historic and rich with tradition and success that this organization has," manager Mike Shildt said. "What I love about it is, it speaks to the team aspect of it."

The 15 wins in a row are tied for the fourth-longest streak in MLB history. Another victory against the Cubs on Sunday will tie St. Louis with the 1977 Kansas City Royals for the third-longest win streak. The 2017 Cleveland Indians won 22 games in a row while the 2002 Oakland Athletics won 20.

"It's an incredible feeling," reliever T.J. McFarland said. "The complete elation of knowing every time we come to the field, that we're going to win."

The Cardinals were down 4-2 going into the seventh inning but put up three in the seventh and three more in the ninth to seal the deal. The win was aided by an unusual 3-2-5-4-2-8-6 double play in the eighth as the Cubs had the tying run at third base before running themselves out of the inning.

Outfielder Tyler O'Neill hit his 11th home run of the month, and Harrison Bader went 4-for-4 and has hits in his past six plate appearances. It was the team's fifth come-from-behind win in the streak.

"Not only has no Cardinals team does this, there hasn't been many (of this length)," Saturday's starting pitcher, Jon Lester, said. "To get a 10-game win streak in the big leagues is crazy. In 15 years, I've been part of a handful of them, if that. To go to 15 games is absolutely mind-blowing to me."

As excited as the team is about the streak, several players were more interested in what comes next. Bader was asked for his perspective.

"To be totally honest, my perspective is what time is the game tomorrow," he responded. "It feels good, but we have bigger things that we're focused on. We'll take this energy as deep as we can."

McFarland concurred.

"We're not going to sit back and pump the brakes," he said.

St. Louis was on the outside of the National League playoff picture, looking in, when September started. In a matter of weeks, the Cardinals have turned into one of baseball's biggest stories, all but ending the wild-card race, via this streak. They are comfortably in the NL's second wild-card slot and appear headed for a postseason game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers or San Francisco Giants.