A few weeks ago, St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny lamented his team's apparent lack of aggressiveness on the base paths when he's implored them all season to take calculated risks.
In Tuesday's 9-1 win at Arizona, aggressive baserunning generated early offense. In the first inning Matt Carpenter went first-to-third on a Tommy Pham single and Pham alertly took second on the throw. Both came scored on Jason Heyward's single.
"You know, if he's out right there, you're still going to see us over there high-fiving," Matheny told reporters. "Early in the game when we have an opportunity to set the tone, have an opportunity for a big inning, his aggressiveness allowed us to do that."
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Matheny believes that aggressive mentality will pay dividends in the playoffs, when taking the extra base can make the difference in determining a game, even a series.
"That's something, I think, really set the tone for our club [Tuesday] was the aggressiveness and taking the extra base," Matheny said. "Those sorts of things we've been really talking a lot about since Spring Training. … I think they have bought into it."