Cardinals outfielder Jason Heyward swept baseball’s two most distinguished defensive honors. A day after winning a Gold Glove, Heyward repeated as the Defensive Player of the Year Award, as MLB’s top right fielder. This is the second straight win for Heyward for this award, also getting the honor with the Braves in 2014.
Ironically, it was Heyward’s arm that may have ultimately may have played a major role in the Cardinals suffering an early postseason exit.
In the bottom of the 8th of a 4-3 Cardinals lead over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Heyward caught a shallow fly ball in right-center field. His throw home was right on the money and just beat a sliding Anthony Rizzo. Cardinals Gold Glove catcher Yadier Molina applied the tag, but tore a ligament in his thumb.
The Cardinals won the game and won the division, but Molina did return until the playoffs and went just 1-for-8 at the plate and could not play in Game 4.
Now, obviously the pitching staff faltered, surrendering ten home runs and the bats came through with just 30 hits while striking out 48 times, but knowing that a field general wasn’t anywhere close to 100% added to the mental struggle for the team that finished with the best record in baseball.