Nolan Arenado (Trading Card DB)

July 1, 2022: Nolan Arenado hits for second career cycle, but his error leads to Phillies’ comeback

This article was written by Mike Huber

Nolan Arenado (Trading Card DB)On July 1, 2022, before a Friday night crowd of 36,077 in Philadelphia, St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado paced his team to an early three-run lead with a first-inning RBI triple and a third-inning two-run homer. In the fifth inning, however, the perennial All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner committed an error that opened the door for the Philadelphia Phillies to rally for a 5-3 win, even as Arenado went on to complete the second cycle of his career.

The visiting Cardinals (43-35) were in second place in the National League’s Central Division, just one game behind the Milwaukee Brewers. They had been in first for more than half of June but dropped to second after squandering leads in two of their previous four games.1 The host Phillies were in a relatively tougher division (the NL East), and their 40-37 record placed them third in the East standings, 7½ games behind the New York Mets. With just over two weeks until the All-Star break, St. Louis and Philadelphia were scheduled to meet seven times: a three-game series in Philly, followed by four games in St. Louis.

In the series opener, the Phillies turned to second-year left-hander Bailey Falter. After four relief appearances for Philadelphia in April, the 25-year-old Falter had bounced between the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs and the major-league Phillies. He was making his fourth start and seeking his first victory of the season.

Opposing him was veteran Miles Mikolas. The 33-year-old Cardinals righty had rejuvenated his career after spending three seasons in Japan with the Yomiuri Giants (2015-2017), finishing sixth in the NL Cy Young Award voting in 2018. Injuries had cost him the 2020 season and most of 2021, but he entered the game with a 2.57 ERA in 15 starts in 2022. On June 14 he had come within one out of no-hitting the Pittsburgh Pirates before allowing a ninth-inning double.

In a pregame ceremony, the Phillies paid tribute to retiring Albert Pujols, who had returned to St. Louis for the final season of his 22-year big-league career. The Cardinals’ 42-year-old designated hitter was presented with the “STL” sign from the out-of-town scoreboard.2

Falter retired the first two batters of the game on four pitches. Then Paul Goldschmidt singled to left and scored on Arenado’s triple to the left-center gap, which turned out to be Arenado’s only three-bagger of the season.

St. Louis had two baserunners in the second, but Andrew Knizner hit into an around-the-horn double play to end the inning. In the third, though, the duo of Goldschmidt and Arenado came through again. With two down, Goldschmidt, headed for the NL MVP Award in 2022, doubled down the left-field line. Arenado blasted his 15th homer of the season, giving the Cards a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Mikolas was keeping the Phillies in check, allowing just two base hits through the first four frames. In the next inning, though, it all changed. Arenado, winner of the Gold Glove Award in each of his first nine big-league seasons, botched a grounder hit by Garrett Stubbs to lead off the bottom of the fifth. It was Arenado’s seventh miscue of the season.3

Matt Vierling followed with a single, putting runners at the corners. Mickey Moniak doubled,4 driving in Stubbs with Philadelphia’s first run and pushing Vierling to third. Kyle Schwarber’s groundout scored Vierling, and Rhys Hoskins’ sacrifice fly brought in Moniak. Suddenly, the Cardinals’ lead was erased, and it was a 3-3 game.

Arenado led off the sixth, and he worked a full count off reliever Nick Nelson before lining a double into left field. This was his third extra-base hit of the game. After Juan Yepez sent a fly ball to deep center for a long out, José Alvarado came in to face Pujols, who was sitting on 683 career home runs. Alvarado struck out the future Hall of Famer and then Edmundo Sosa, stranding Arenado at second.

Philadelphia’s designated hitter, Darick Hall, was batting cleanup in his third major-league game, having made his debut just two days earlier against the Atlanta Braves.5 The 26-year-old left-handed hitter was called up after reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper, Philadelphia’s regular designated hitter, fractured his thumb when Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres hit him with a pitch on June 25. Against the Braves, Hall picked up his first two career hits, and both were home runs.

Leading off the bottom of the sixth, Hall launched a Mikolas offering into the right-field seats for his third home run. Three career hits, three home runs. Hall joined a short list of players, including Philadelphia’s Ed Sanicki in 1949, to have their first three major-league hits “land on the other side of the fence.”6 The Phillies were ahead, 4-3.

Hoskins added a one-out solo home run to left-center against reliever Johan Oviedo in the seventh, extending the Phillies’ lead to 5-3.

When the Cardinals came to bat in the eighth against Seranthony Dominguez, the Phillies’ fifth pitcher, their only hit since the third inning had been Arenado’s double. With one out, Arenado batted for the fourth time. He drove a sharp grounder to third baseman Vierling, who bobbled it and then threw high over first baseman Hoskins’ head. Arenado was credited with a single and moved to second on the error.7 The Cardinals third baseman had hit for the cycle.

St. Louis, however, did not capitalize on the Phillies’ mistake, and Arenado was once again stranded at second base. Dominguez retired the next two batters, and Philadelphia’s Brad Hand pitched a one-two-three ninth to close out the game. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Any chances the Cardinals had of mounting a comeback disappeared in a mound of strikeouts.”8 St. Louis batters fanned a season-high 15 times.9 Phillies pitchers collected at least one strikeout in every inning, with two in each of the final five frames.

Mikolas pitched well enough to earn the victory, allowing just two earned runs in his 5⅓ innings of work. Instead, Philadelphia’s Alvarado picked up his second win in relief, and Mikolas was tagged with the loss. Each team had managed only seven hits, and Arenado had four of the St. Louis safeties. Coming into the game, Arenado was batting just .180 for his career (16-for-89) at Citizens Bank Park. He went 7-for-12 in the three-game series (a .583 batting average), and he had an OPS of 2.199, hitting two more home runs the next day.

After the game, the 31-year-old Arenado told reporters, “It was cool to see Phillies fans clapping for me down the third-base line [when he completed the cycle]. They’re pretty passionate about their team, so to have them applaud is cool.”

“I’d rather win,” he added.10

Without his error, could Arenado’s cycle have been part of a Cardinals victory? For the third time in five games, St. Louis had let a lead slip away. Two of the Philadelphia runs were unearned, and Arenado felt responsible. “That was not good, and I messed up there,” he said after the game, referring to his error. “I’ve got to make that play. I feel like if I make that play, it’s a different game.”11 Arenado finished the 2022 season with 12 errors at third base but still snagged his 10th Gold Glove Award.12

Arenado’s batting feat marked the first cycle by a St. Louis player in 17 years.13 He was also the last of five players to hit for the cycle in 2022, joining Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers, May 11), Eduardo Escobar (New York Mets, June 6), Jared Walsh (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, June 11), and Austin Hays (Baltimore Orioles, June 22). This was Arenado’s second career cycle, coming five years after his first, when he was playing with the Colorado Rockies (June 18, 2017).

The Phillies took two of the three games in the series. At the end of the regular season, the 93-win Cardinals were first in the NL Central. The 87-win Phillies, third place in the NL East, received a wild-card berth in baseball’s expanded playoffs. Philadelphia, however, beat St. Louis in the Wild Card Series, two games to none, and the Phillies went on to win the NL pennant before losing the World Series to the Houston Astros.



This article was fact-checked by Larry DeFillipo and copy-edited by Len Levin. The author thanks both Larry and John Fredland for their editorial suggestions.



In addition to the sources mentioned in the Notes, the author consulted,,, and

Photo credit: Nolan Arenado, Trading Card Database.



1 On June 26 the Cards led 5-0, only to see the Chicago Cubs score six unanswered runs to win 6-5. On June 29 St. Louis was one out away from a 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins when Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth, and the Marlins held on to win, 4-3.

2 Scott Lauber, “Hall Basks in Glow after 2-Homer Day,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 2, 2022: C3.

3 St. Louis came into the game with the third-fewest number of errors in the majors at 31. By season’s end, the Cardinals committed 66 errors, the lowest of any major-league team.

4 This was Moniak’s first career double.

5 Lauber. Further, Hall was the first Phillies batter in 83 years to bat in the cleanup spot in his major-league debut. On April 19 1939, LeGrant Scott made his major-league debut batting fourth against the Boston Bees. Scott was 0-for-4 with two walks and two runs scored. On August 20, 1987, Greg Jelks made his debut, entering the game as an eighth-inning replacement for Mike Schmidt, who was in the cleanup slot.

6 Sanicki had just three hits in seven games (15 plate appearances) for Philadelphia as an end-of-season call-up in 1949, and they were all home runs.

7 “Nolan Arenado Completes the Cycle,” YouTube video (, 0:26, accessed April 13, 2024, According to John Denton of, the ball “ended up in the hands of a ball person, who then tossed it to a young fan in the stands.” Denton wrote, “Security at Citizens Bank Park saw that scene play out and helped retrieve the keepsake ball for Arenado. Ultimately, he sent a ball back to the fan with an autograph and a personalized message.” John Denton, “Arenado’s Cycle Bittersweet After Hard-Luck Loss,”, July 1, 2022,

8 Rick Hummel, “Cards Can’t Cycle Past the Phillies,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 2, 2022: B1.

9 To this point in the season. Just six days later, Cardinals batters struck out 19 times against the Atlanta Braves (in 11 innings), and on September 17 they fanned 17 times against the Cincinnati Reds.

10 Denton.

11 Denton.

12 Arenado won the award despite finishing second to Pittsburgh’s Ke’Bryan Hayes in two major categories: Among NL third basemen with over 100 games played, Hayes had a higher fielding percentage than Arenado (.972 versus .968) and more defensive runs saved (24 versus 19). Hayes did win his first Gold Glove Award in 2023.

13 The last Cardinals player to hit for the cycle before Arenado was Mark Grudzielanek (April 27, 2005, against Milwaukee).

Additional Stats

Philadelphia Phillies 5
St. Louis Cardinals 3

Citizens Bank Park
Philadelphia, PA


Box Score + PBP:

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