No one involved with the St. Louis Cardinals was happier to see the month of May end more than six-time All-Star left fielder, Matt Holliday. May 2013 was one of his worst months at the plate in his entire nine year career. Holliday hit .235 in the month with an on-base percentage of just .303–81 points below his career OBP of .384. To put this in perspective, the Cardinals had four position players with higher batting averages in May than Holliday’s on-base percentage
No matter what his many critics say, Matt Holliday is an All-Star hitter who, barring a significant injury, will soon turn it around to get his numbers up to near his career averages: .310 batting average, 24 home runs, and 90 RBI. If there is one thing that is for certain about Matt Holliday, it is his consistency over the course of his career, so Cardinal nation should not worry too much about his hitting–after all, it is just June 3rd.
Tonight is the perfect night for him to get back on track. He faces off against a pitcher he has had success against–Trevor Cahill. In nine at-bats against Cahill, Holliday has three hits–all for home runs. Thus, I would not be surprised to see Holliday have two extra-base hits tonight at Busch Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
What to expect from Cahill in terms of pitches? According to BrooksBaseball.net, he has increased his reliance on his cutter so far in 2013–throwing it 20% of the time to left-handed hitters and 27% of the time to right-handed hitters. He also has a quality sinker that he throws around 50% of the time. Thus, he is a ground ball pitcher who has allowed only 4 home runs this season. However, as we have seen in the past with sinker-cutter pitchers, it just takes one pitch up in the zone for a player of Holliday’s caliber to deposit it into the outfield bleachers.
Plus, based on an article by Fox Sports Arizona written earlier this season, it seems as if Matt Holliday is in Trevor Cahill’s head. In the article, Cahill was quoted in saying, “Every team I’m on, he’s always killed us.” He followed by describing Holliday as “probably the strongest guy [he’s] seen” and that “if [Holliday] gets the barrel on [the pitch] it is going to go out.”
Thus, Trevor Cahill knows that Matt Holliday likes hitting against him, and I am sure Matt Holliday was delighted to see that Trevor Cahill was scheduled to pitch tonight. It is the perfect time for Holliday to get his bat going to not only silence his many critics but to join in on the fun that the Cardinals offense has been having as of late.
Other Game Notes:
David Freese, who is finally seeing the ball well, looks to extend his 12 game hitting streak tonight. He has had a .357 batting average during the streak which has raised his season average to .256.
Matt Carpenter, looking to stay hot in the top spot, brings an 11 game hitting streak into the game as well.
Lance Lynn toes the rubber in hopes of improving on his 7-1 record.
Until next time…