Professional wrestler Ric Flair used to remind his challengers that they could talk the talk, but they would have to walk the walk to beat him in the ring. In his own way and not as flamboyant as the “Nature Boy”, Matt Holliday did both on Friday night.
Per usual business at the start of a series, the St. Louis Cardinals had their pregame meetings to go over the the Colorado Rockies– but besides the coaches providing instruction, Holliday was among those to also speak to his teammates.
“This is where we want to be,” shared Holliday after the team’s 5-1 on Friday. “We’re ahead in the division, we’ve got a 9-game home stand, and this is where we want to be. This is what you play for–you play for an opportunity to win a World Series and the opportunity is in front of us. Whether we hit a little bit of a lull in Cincinnati or they pitched really well, we just didn’t have quite the intensity that we had in Milwaukee and we need to have that. We’ve got 14 games left. That was really the message–let’s bust our butts for the last 14 and I think we’ll be where we want to be.”
Holliday backed up his words with a 467-foot home run in the first inning and then stole a base in the third to set up another run.
“It doesn’t always correlate, just go play hard,” said Holliday. “That’s all you can do. Everybody does their part and you go out and play the game the right way. You’ve got Waino pitching and you feel like you’ve got a good chance.”
Holliday’s home run was the second longest in the history of Busch Stadium III–being just two feet shy of another mammoth shot by the left fielder in 2012 against the Chicago Cubs.
“Yeah, Dempster, yep, remember that one,” smiled Holliday, who now has 17 home runs and 84 RBIs.
The Cardinals victory kept them 2.5 games ahead of Pittsburgh in the National League Central.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports