For every winning team, the major players coming through is a given. Those players’ production is absolutely instrumental and the foundation for a winning season. So in the case of a team like the Los Angeles Angels, Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton having bad seasons was too much for anything else to really save them.
So these major players definitely help a team win, but oftentimes it’s the little things that push the team over the top. Last year for the Cardinals, the offensive juggernauts on the team performed as expected, but it was the little things like Matt Carpenter turning into an unexpected juggernaut of his own that helped push them over the top. For the Red Sox, David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia performed as expected, but the production of pitchers like John Lackey pushed them over the top. For the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke led their stellar rotation, but the unexpected storm that Yasiel Puig took the league in lead the team over the top. And so on.
So next year, the Cardinals are relying on many of their major players to perform (which is not to say that if any of them falter or are injured, the team can’t recover). Matt Holiday, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter and Adam Wainwright are counted on and in most likelihood, will be the players the fans expect.
But what will be the little things that help the Cardinals over the top? What things have to go right to fill any of the holes on the team and give them a shot to make it back to the World Series?
Here are five little things that have to go right.
So these are the little things that need to go right for the Cardinals. Next week, a focus on the little things that must go right for the Royals.