In any sport, the same question persists: Which comes first, the winning or the chemistry?
It might not be an answerable question. Winning teams develop chemistry. Teams with great chemistry win.
Whichever way the St. Louis Cardinals did, they discovered the formula. And it simply perpetuates itself, game after game in an ultra-confident group of teammates who believe in one another and believe they accomplish just about anything.
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A recent stretch of big innings is further proof. On Monday night, the Cardinals trailed 5-3, blew off a double play that could have killed the inning before it really stated. But St. Louis never relents. The next six batters reached and the Cards put five runs on the board to lead to an 8-5 win over the Washington Nationals for the team's big-league best 85th win.
The Cards have turned around recent offensive struggles and have now scored at least three runs in an inning in four consecutive games.
"You know it's not always going to happen that way, you're not going to get that many hits in a row or score that many runs with two [outs], but you always believe you can," Heyward told MLB.com.
And that's coming from a first-year Cardinals player, who has clearly become entrenched in the professional way this club operates. The wins keep piling up despite the team dealing with mutiple injuries including both of Heyward's outfield partners.
"We've had guys that we've had to replace," Heyward said. "The guys that have stepped in and have played a lot more for them, I feel like they have gotten more comfortable. But, as a group, we're all just gelling and trying to feed off that."