Lessons from the '16 World Series and what it means for the '17 - KMOV.com

Lessons from the '16 World Series and what it means for the '17 Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

When you watch the World Series keep in mind the old adage that’s been true in baseball for, heck, 100 years or so.  Good pitching beats good hitting.

Let’s say that again.  Good pitching beats good hitting.

So next time someone tries to explain how the Cubs are a far superior team simply due to their stacked lineup of power hitters, calmly remind them that those hitters won’t matter – nearly as much – when things really count in October.

The Cleveland Indians are Exhibit A. 

It is all about pitching and defense, my friends.  The team that hoists the trophy and calls itself World Series champions when all is said and done is going to be the team that pitches and defends the best.  Good pitching teams need not apply. 

The Cleveland Indians have held the world famous Chicago Cubs offense to a mere .204 batting average in the World Series with a horrendous .573 OPS in 137 at-bats through four games.  The Cubs have scored seven runs. 

Seven runs in four games will not get it done, people.

Now, the Indians offense has not exactly been on fire.  Cleveland’s scored 15 runs (3.75 runs per game).  A .248 batting average and .725 OPS is nothing to get too excited about.  But that's the thing here.  You don’t need to have great offense to win it all.

You need great pitching.  And then hit just enough. 

So far it has been the Indians who have pitched tremendously and hit enough.  It has been the Cubs who have pitched well, but not nearly as well as their counterparts.

As we move closer and closer to the 2017 season it’s crucial to remember this.  Remember that the next time you obsess over who is going to hit first, second and third.  Remember that when you try and figure out who is going to be the fourth outfielder.

Pitching wins.  It has always won and will continue to win in the future.  To me, the most important part of the 2017 season – and we don’t even know what the roster is going to look like at this point – is how the Cardinals rotation will stack up.

Most importantly, can Adam Wainwright and Mike Leake have far better and more consistent seasons than they had in 2016?  Is Michael Wacha healthy?  Is Alex Reyes ready to take the next step into stardom?  What about Lance Lynn?  Is he healthy and strong enough to have a great season before he leaps into free agency?

The answers to those questions will factor into whether the Cardinals are going to be contenders next season or not.  Offense is nice, sure.  But pitching is what carries the day.  It always has.

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