For many of the St. Louis Cardinals, tonight will mark their first visit to Fenway Park to face the Boston Red Sox.
“I’m excited,” said Randal Grichuk after Sunday’s game. “There’s a few stadiums that I really wanted to play at and that’s one of them. Obviously, it’s so historic. It’s going to be fun going out there–I want to check out that wall, go inside. I hear a lot of people sign it, so I want to go sign, put my mark on it and look back years later and know that it’s out there somewhere.”
“I’m going to go out there pre-BP and go check it out and see it,” continued Grichuk, who could play any of the three outfield spots with the designated hitter being in play this series.
“I like right,” said Grichuk. “Right is fun to me, I feel like I can get good jumps on the ball out there. Left’s tricky there, so I’d like to just check it out and see.”
“As long as I can continue to stay short, continue to be confident, and continue to swing at good pitches–I don’t see a reason why I should struggle,” assessed Grichuk.
The lessons learned from being sent down to the minors earlier this season are having a more lasting effect.
“You say it all the time, but there’s a lot of things say and do and hear that don’t necessarily click even though you’re saying it or doing it,” explained Grichuk. “It really stuck with me this time going down about hunting your pitch and sitting on what you want to hit, not worrying about if the other pitch is a strike. Who cares? If he strikes you out on it, it doesn’t matter. Stay with your approach and your plan. Swing at good pitches and you should be alright.”
And having that confidence and swing in place, is allowing Grichuk to take a shorter swing when necessary to foul off a pitch that may have struck him out in the past, but is not one that he wants to drive. Staying straight to the ball and straight down without the loop in his swing.
“My swing, with the way I’m kind of set up, doing a couple things mechanically, I think that’s the by-product of that,” he said. “That’s where I’m at and I expect that to be my swing for hopefully the next ten years in this game.”
“I haven’t really had the feeling or felt the things that I’ve felt this year, mechanically. But I think, mechanically that’s a by-product of mental, where you’re mentally at. I think there’s a lot of good hitters that struggle because mentally they’re not there…so I think I’m at a good place mentally and obviously, swing-wise feels good.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI, Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports