St. Louis Cardinals: The psychology of the 2019 Cardinals

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 21: Pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals sits in the dugout while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 21, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 21: Pitcher Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals sits in the dugout while taking on the San Francisco Giants in Game Six of the National League Championship Series at AT&T Park on October 21, 2012 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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St. Louis Cardinals
CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 28: Adam Wainwright #50 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning on September 28, 2018 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

St. Louis Cardinals pitchers Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, Miles Mikolas are three successful pitchers who each have their own individual mental demeanor that leads them to success.

They all can be observed by how emotion is controlled when handling psychological conflicts. All three have gained character points when it comes to developing the mental edge by embracing mistakes, but it’s the matter in which they respond to it that sets them apart.

Thus, the true character of a pitcher is revealed when you see them take action to further develop a unshakable demeanor, as these three have done. For these three, the process of progression they have undergone this emotional fortitude have been unique

Wainwright had early success in the bullpen, notably striking out Carlos Beltran in one of the most intense at-bats in MLB history. He carried that same toughness into his time as a starter, and still shows that same mental grit today

Carpenter had success early then injury and a mental edge off the field developed his skills for on the field battle. His duel with Roy Halladay in the 2011 NLDS was a show of guts and fortitude that will forever live in St. Louis Cardinals lore.

Mikolas had to go to a different country to develop better pitching skills then a leather mind was developed by trial and error, thus, becoming the pitcher he envisioned becoming. He hasn’t had time for postseason success yet, but his ability to challenge hitters as seen through his minuscule walk rate is a testament to his mental toughness

Carpenter had Roy Halladay, Wainwright had Carpenter, Mikolas went to a different country but has Wainwright now. All of these players have had very unique exposure to many well informed peers.

Ideas, routines, real time application, conversations, mistakes, honesty, all of this and more comes from information these players have gathered from those around them over the years.

The Cardinals have plenty of other young pitchers that can follow in this example. If guys like Jack Flaherty (and possibly Alex Reyes) can learn in the same way their mentors once did, and apply the right information to their games, the St. Louis Cardinals rotation can become king in 2019.

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