JUPITER, Fla. — In the midst of an interview about the Cardinals' superior defensive performance in 2019, third baseman Matt Carpenter wondered aloud why the team's overall play last season wasn't "celebrated as much as it should be."
Fans don’t necessarily talk that much about defense in the offseason. And Cardinals fans have been particularly vocal this winter about the club's need for more offense, especially after its lineup produced six runs total in Washington's four-game sweep of the NL Championship Series.
“I don’t follow (chatter from fans) a ton,” Carpenter said, “but there might be some frustration from fans that would say, ‘For a team that was so good, why wouldn’t you go out and just add what was obviously a missing piece — more offense?'
“But what was so really good about our team last year was our pitching and our defense and we have all that back. Offensively, maybe outside of Kolten (Wong), our entire lineup had career-worst years. Pitching and defense don’t slump for the most part. And if you’ve got all that back, you’ve got an offense that you’d have to think is going to rebound.
“You could imagine we could be even better. I don’t know if you get this feeling, but we went to the NLCS last year and I don’t feel like it’s been celebrated as much as it should be.
"So, it’s like, 'We really didn’t make it because we didn’t score runs against Washington'? Interesting. I think that’s super weird."
Carpenter continued: “We should look at last year and say, ‘Wow.’ We won the division. Let’s go back to the beginning. Who thought we were going to win that division?
“I think last season should be celebrated. Are we disappointed we didn’t win the World Series? Of course. Every year we’re disappointed.
“I don’t understand it. If we can pitch the same and play defense the same and hit just a little better. . . who knows what’s going to happen?”
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