(BaseballStL) — Matt Holliday continued his offensive charge Friday, building on a July that has now seen him hit .295, score 11 times and homer twice.
Like his blast in Milwaukee, Friday’s two-run shot was the difference in the game.
“That’s who we know he is. It’s nice to watch when it all clicks,” Mike Matheny said after the game. “Even the out he made was a laser.”
Holliday went 2-for-4 with an RBI double off starter Dan Haren to go with his bomb. It’s a welcome sight for the 34-year-old, who hit just .264 through the first three months. After the 3-2 win over the Dodgers, he said his hits are starting to look familiar.
“When I hit a ball up the middle with back spin, that’s what I’m best at,” he said. The 435 foot home run, his seventh, was to straightaway center.
"I was looking for a pitch I could take up the middle. Haren throws a lot of cutters and split finger pitches and you can't try to pull him,” he said.
Holliday pushed his RBI total to 48 on the season, and two of his three Friday were in the form of Kolten Wong.
“You have someone behind you of his caliber you definitely want to get on base. Whether it’s a walk, hit, whatever,” Wong said. The 23-year-old has found a home in front of Holliday, hitting second consistently for the Cardinals.
“You definitely go into every day with the game plan that you want to get on base. When I was hitting eighth, it was more about trying to think about how I can get runs in or how I can get into scoring position where the pitcher can move me over and hopefully I can score when Carp comes up,” he said, referring to leadoff man Matt Carpenter. “Hitting second, you definitely have some stuff to think about. You want to get on base or if Carp is on I have to figure out a way to get him over so Holliday can drive him in. You’re definitely thinking about how you want to execute.”
Wong has been on fire since returning from the DL, hitting .344 with five home runs and 10 runs scored in nine games.
“I like the at bats Kolten is taking, I like the way he’s going about it defensively and on the bases,” Matheny said. “He’s playing a very well-rounded game right now.”
The speedy second baseman has stolen three bags in those nine games, something he says he looks to do no matter where he hits.
“I can do that both second and eighth. They definitely don’t shut me down hitting second compared to hitting eighth,” he said.
In addition to driving in all three runs, Holliday hit two more milestones Friday night when he hit is 400th career double in the first inning and scored his 1,000th run when he homered in the fifth.
While the round numbers are nice, the six-time All Star didn’t seem like he’d be saving the newspaper clippings.
“They’re cool. I mean there’s nothing you can really take home with a run,” he smiled. “400 hundred doubles… I don’t know… it just means I’ve been able to play the game a long time.”
Holliday is on his tenth season in the league, boasting a .309 career average to go with the milestones he’s piled up in 2014.