Dexter Fowler Adding Juice To Cardinals

"I am in a position where I am comfortable," Fowler says.

Bruce Levine
September 19, 2019 - 7:15 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Adding juice to a lineup has been the calling card for Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler throughout his career.

The starting center fielder for the Cubs in 2015 and on their 2016 championship team, Fowler is now jump-starting the Cardinals offense as the teams met for a critical four-game series at Wrigley Field beginning Thursday. He's back atop the Cardinals order and has posted a .352 on-base percentage for the season, including a .381 mark in August and a .364 mark in September as St. Louis made its run to the top of the NL Central.

Fowler also robbed a home run on a key play in the Cardinals' win against the Nationals on Wednesday, a victory that helped St. Louis open a three-game lead in the NL Central. The Cardinals are seeking their first playoff berth since 2015.

"I am in a position where I am comfortable right now and going out and trying to help the boys any way I can," Fowler said.

Playing big games at Wrigley Field is nothing new for Fowler, who will forever cherish his time in Chicago.

"The fans," Fowler said about what he most remembers. "They stay on top of you and they are on you. I think that's a lot of it. Most teams play better at home, but I really can't put my finger on it now."

The Cubs let Fowler walk in free agency after the 2016 season, and he signed a five-year, $82.5-million deal with the Cardinals. After a decent 2017 season, Fowler had a terrible 2018, hitting .180 with a .576 OPS. He suffered from injuries, clashed with then-manager Mike Matheny and lost his everyday job.

Fowler has rediscovered a better rhythm under manager Mike Shildt and been a key contributor for the Cardinals. He had 17 homers, 61 RBIs and 65 runs entering play Thursday. 

Meanwhile, the Cubs have had a never-ending search for the right leadoff man since Fowler left.

"You just have to be able to find the right one," Fowler said. "At the end of the day, (the Cubs) have not gotten it done (at leadoff), but we didn't get it done for a while either. You must find someone who is comfortable in that position. You must find someone and stick with it."

Pregame Thursday, Fowler was excited about what awaits over the final 11 days of the regular season, over which the Cubs and Cardinals will meet seven times.

"At the end of the day, these games are playoff baseball," Fowler said. "I always take it like that. It's always exciting to play games at the end like that."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.