You live by the sword, you die by the sword. A couple of weeks ago during the last St. Louis Cardinals homestand, Mike Matheny stated that he wanted his team to continue to be aggressive on the basepaths–even if that meant the occasional out or mistake. Following the 4-3 loss on Saturday which saw three key plays that went against the Cardinals on the bases, the manager stood by his philosophy.

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“Absolutely,” said Matheny. “That play with Kozma, not many first basemen in the league are going to make that play. And the ones that will don’t even do that all the time with their back to the field. Come around and throw–it’s gotta be a perfect throw and they executed. We’ve got to push it, we’ve got to keep going.”

Pete Kozma was thrown out trying to advance from second to third on a foul ball caught near the wall by first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Jason Heyward had a pinch-hit double in the 7th inning, but tagged up and was only able to advance to third on a flyball off the wall for a double from Randal Grichuk. It would’ve put the Cardinals ahead 4-3. .

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals“I know Jason Heyward was real upset with himself on that play with one out and that ball on the back of the track but it looked almost like the left fielder was going to camp under it and so then tagging’s not that bad of an idea,” said Matheny. “Unfortunately, it bounced off a wall in a situation where he normally would’ve scored.”

“Apparently on second base, it was the worst seat for that one,” said Heyward about the play. “Off the bat, initially, I went half-way. That’s what we’re supposed to do with one out. As I saw the play develop, I looked at the ball, checked the outfielder and I was thinking to myself this is so high, I think it’s either going to be gone or caught at the wall. I saw him breaking down and thought he’s going to make a catch here so let’s get back and tag and not be stuck on second base. Obviously, the ball did not get caught or go out.”

“He’s a good base-runner–one of the best I’ve seen,” added Matheny. “Sometimes, things are–you’re going to trust your instincts and it’s not going to work.”

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Matt Holliday was later thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double to lead-off the 10th inning.

“Same thing,” said Matheny. “Coming out of the box he’s got to be thinking double. We want them going strong.”

–Holliday’s single allowed him to reach base for the 34th consecutive game, which is now the second longest streak in franchise history to open a season.

–Matt Carpenter hit his 7th home run of the season, the fourth with a two-strike count. Peter Bourjos (1) also had a home run, as did Jhonny Peralta (6).

–Miguel Cabrera hit a solo shot in the 1st inning for Detroit. It was the 400th home run of his career.

photo credit: Jeff Curry, Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports


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