(Busch Stadium) Lost in the shuffle of Carlos Martinez overcoming his nosebleed and Jedd Gyorko’s continued assault on San Diego Padres pitching, Matt Holliday hit a home run on Wednesday afternoon.
The home run was the 292nd of Holliday’s career and 153rd while wearing a Cardinals uniform, which moved into sole possession of 11th place on the franchise all-time list. He had previously been tied with Joe “Ducky” Medwick. Holliday now trails Johnny Mize (158) by five home runs for 10th place.
“Mostly last year it was because of the health,” he recently pointed out in regards to being on pace for more traditional power numbers.
“Jacked my leg up and never really recovered from that. It was a little up and down for me, some good days and some bad days. Just trying to get a little more consistent in the second half.”
Holliday is currently sitting at 17 HRs and 55 RBIs with a .245 batting average.
“I think the shift’s definitely had an impact on the game,” said Holliday, but dismissed it as having much of an affect on his at-bats. “A lot of the balls that I did used to hit up the middle, they’ve got the second baseman standing there–some of that is affected but there’s not really anything you can do about it.
“I’m not going to try and change who I am. You just try to get up there and have a good at-bat, really that’s kind of my focus. Like I said, I hope to be more consistent for the second half.”
One thing Holliday has been consistent with the season is a pregame routine of working at first base. He is regularly out at the bag working on throws to second, breaks off the bag, and scoops in the dirt.
“I’m obviously more comfortable,” admitted Holliday. “The more game action the better, but I’ve continued to work on it and they’ve continued to encourage me that it might be something they’re interested in doing.”
“Just kind of regular ground balls, they don’t happen to often in a game so I’m trying to work on situations and things that might come up in a game so I’m ready for it.”
“We have to play better–particularly at home,” he stated. “In my seven-plus years here, we’ve never had this kind of record at home so we’ve got to get that straightened out. We’ve played pretty well on the road and hope to continue to do that.”
But with the want-to already having been present and several players already putting in extra work to improve, how does that happen?
“I don’t know,” admitted Holliday. “I’m not sure, it’s kind of one of those crazy things. I don’t know. I feel like we’ve played crisper baseball on the road and for some reason, we haven’t done that here. We’ve got to get that turned around. More consistent–we’ve had some good runs and we’ve played some sloppy baseball at times and you can’t do that. If you want to play in the postseason, you can’t play sloppy baseball.”
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI