Batting in the two-hole, right fielder Jason Heyward was impressive as he made his regular season debut for the St. Louis Cardinals.
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Acquired during the offseason to fill in the hole left with the tragic passing of promising rookie Oscar Taveras, Heyward was off to a great start as the Cardinals faced division rival Chicago Cubs in a national telecast. One could not have asked for a better start from the outfielder, who went 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and a stolen base. Two of his three hits were doubles.
“Just playing with an edge. That’s something he brings,” manager Mike Matheny said according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “There was a little bite to them. He came out looking for something, looking to make an impact. He certainly did that. Aggressive on the bases. Aggressive at the plate.”
According to Langosch, only three other players hit two doubles in their St. Louis debut: Aaron Miles and Dick Allen. Interestingly enough, it was Heyward’s first three-hit game off of a left-handed pitcher since 2012 when, in a matter of coincidence, the right fielder faced Jon Lester.
“I think tonight you saw exactly what kind of player he is,” third baseman Matt Carpenter said according to Langosch. “You see that on a really good team with a really good lineup, he can just do his thing. He doesn’t have to carry anybody. He can just do his part. Tonight was a good example of that.”
Heyward said he was “lucky” to hit between Carpenter and left fielder Matt Holliday. The outfielder admitted that he’s “going to be kind of spoiled in between them.”
Maybe a change of scenery was just what the doctor ordered.