Five takeaways following the St. Louis Cardinals’ early postseason exit

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Oct 12, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Stephen Piscotty (55) collides with St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong (16) during the fifth inning against the Chicago Cubs in game three of the NLDS at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

3. Position Players Must Improve Discipline

Like it or not, the Cardinals are expected to roll around a core of home grown power-hitters in the upcoming season such as Randal Grichuk, Kolten Wong and Matt Adams. While balancing power-driven hitters into a lineup could add pressure to opponents, it also provides swing-and-miss capabilities that derive from a lack of discipline

The Cardinals struck out 15 times in their elimination game, falling into a all-or-nothing trap which caused several hitters to swing at pitches outside the zone. Grichuk and Wong both struck out in over 30% of their plate appearances in the series, limiting the effectiveness of potential rallies near the bottom of the order.

St. Louis also struggled with fundamental defense throughout the series, particularly in Game 2 when defensive errors from Jaime Garcia and Kolten Wong led to a five-run second inning outburst for the Cubs. A team consisting of young players will inevitably make mistakes, but working toward improvements around these persisting lapses could prepare a more-matured core of starting position players in the event that the Cardinals make it to the postseason for their sixth straight season.