The Washington Nationals have a 1-0 lead in the NLCS over the St. Louis Cardinals, as they blanked the Redbirds rather easily on their home field.
Not only did Nationals starter Anibal Sanchez take a no-hitter into the eighth inning, but Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas decided to stir up some controversy, as he taunted Nats star Juan Soto by grabbing his crotch after getting him to ground out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
Why? The last thing St. Louis needs is for a great player like Soto to be even more focused in this series. He's the kind of player that can carry a team, so waking up a sleeping giant might not have been the best thing to do on Mikolas' part.
Of course, we shouldn't be surprised by this from Cardinals players.
We all saw how they reacted to the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS, as they were fixated on Ronald Acuna Jr. and even plunked him in Game 5 during a blowout, and manager Mike Shildt had a profanity-laced postgame speech in the clubhouse during their series celebration.
Soto is famous for his antics in the batter's box, such as swiping the dirt when a pitcher misses the zone while occasionally adjusting his cup and giving an intense stair back at the pitcher.
It doesn't seem to get other players and teams all riled up, but Mikolas seemed bothered by it.
Mikolas and Soto said postgame they were just having run with each other. Maybe so, but I wouldn't want to give Soto any more motivation than he already has.