By COREY NOLES
That's the new buzzword for the St. Louis Cardinals and it's coming along at the right time.
Following Thursday's win against the Chicago Cubs, manager Mike Matheny spoke extensively on the new way of thinking for his club.
Did he see the day's win as a source of momentum? Maybe, but he gave a new answer to that question signaling a shift both in his approach and what he's saying to drive his team.
"Possibly, but I'm taking a different angle on that," Matheny said. "We've been talking about how maybe this is the thing that takes us off and maybe that. You know, we're at the point where we just have to be relentless and come prepared to fight."
He's exactly right.
It's no longer early and these games mean as much as any they'll play. It's not a do-or-die situation, but he knows as well as anyone that this first quarter of the season could come back to haunt them in the September.
It's time for it to end. It looks like that may be beginning to happen as the bats warm back up and pitching appears to be settling back in.
For Matheny, though, it's no longer about looking for a specific key or Excalibur that's going to unlock the door to winning.
"There's not going to be a one particular game, particular big win or big hit that's necessarily going to make it happen," he said. "It's probably a bad message I've been sending, because it's not how this game works."
For the Cardinals to rise from their funk, they have to stop looking for that one moment and start looking at the day pitch-by-pitch.
"We've got to come in here and grind every single day," Matheny said. "That's something that we've been talking a lot about--that big hit. We did have some pitching. We did get the timely hit. That doesn't necessarily mean we'll be getting it tomorrow."
Since this shift in team mentality, the Cardinals carried a four-game winning streak before losing late Sunday afternoon in a hard fought game against the Atlanta Braves.
The team looks different--even in the loss.
Despite the fact that they were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 base runners, the Cardinals rallied for 11 hits on the day. The offense seems to be returning.
I'd argue Kolten Wong brought it back with him from Memphis--never missing a beat with his recent promotion. While Matheny no doubt credits Wong with improving his game, he's quick to quiet talk of what it will take to keep this team rolling the way he believes they should be.
"We've talked a lot about bringing this guy up or that guy up thinking that's all of a sudden going to set us up--no it's not," he said. "You have to have 25 guys who are coming in here ready to square off with whoever they bring to us."
The key, according to Matheny, lies in getting the team to click from all directions--and he's right. It's not about one or two guys, it's about making team gel so that they begin to live up to their abilities.
"We've just got to show up every day and go about it like we know how to--and that's grind," Matheny said.
And that's exactly what they're doing now.
Corey Noles is a Cardinals Writer and Columnist for The Daily Statesman. He is also a regular contributor to Bleacher Report and KSDK.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coreynoles.