The Cardinals have been the best in baseball at the little things

This Cardinals team is playing with a different level of determination this season, and the box scores show it.
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres
St. Louis Cardinals v San Diego Padres / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

The St. Louis Cardinals are 5-5 after their first three series of baseball this season. If you asked fans what their record would be after seven games on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres with a home opener following against the Miami Marlins, I'm sure many would have thought it would be worse.

Playing at .500 baseball is not the goal this season, but it's an encouraging start to a tough schedule in April, especially while missing their ace Sonny Gray, bullpen pieces such as Keynan Middleton and Riley O'Brien, key position players in Lars Nootbaar, Dylan Carlson, and Tommy Edman, losing Matt Carpenter to the injured list on Thursday, and to top it off, playing without both Brendan Donovan and Willson Contreras, their two hottest hitters going into Thursday, after both were hit by pitches in Wednesday's loss to the Padres.

Still, the Cardinals have come out each and every game and played hard, played fast, and played mistake-free baseball. Before Sunday, the Cardinals were joined by the Atlanta Braves as the only two teams in baseball who have yet to commit an error this season. In fact, as far as the "little things go", the Cardinals have been the best in baseball in those departments thus far.

In the tweet above, Codify found that the Cardinals led all of baseball in most bases advanced on fly balls, passed balls, wild pitches, balks, and defensive indifference so far in 2024. Sure, some of those are dependent on the other team making a mistake, but it also required hustle, determination, and smart baseball from the Cardinals to already have taken twenty extra bases in seven games, which is five more than the second-place Guardians. In fact, 22 different clubs had not even advanced ten bases in those circumstances before the Cardinals snagged 20.

All offseason, the Cardinals were clear that they wanted to reshape their clubhouse culture. They wanted to be a club that fought hard every single game and did all of the little things necessary to win games in 2024, and so far, the results are paying off.