So many pieces must come together anytime there is a decisive Game 5 in the MLB playoffs. That could not be truer for the St. Louis Cardinals as they will need their big-time hitters to step up when it matters most. More specifically, Matt Holliday will have to come through with another great performance if the Cardinals want to advance to their third straight NLCS.
Holliday is a big reason why St. Louis is playing in Game 5 in the first place after he hit a two-run homer on Monday night to give the team the win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The home run occurred after Pittsburgh walked slugger Carlos Beltran for the second time in Game 4.
“I’ve always thought he’s one of the more talented hitters in the game,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said of Holliday after the win, according to Cardinals.com. “To see how consistent he’s performed over the years, we’re … grateful to have him. To see him do something like this today, it’s special, and he’s deserving.”
St. Louis will need Holliday to be clutch again for one very big reason. I have to imagine the Pirates will be very careful when maneuvering through the Cardinals’ batting order. That will most likely include avoiding Beltran, who has been the most productive hitter for St. Louis during the postseason, at all costs. That means it could come down to Holliday to give the team the edge they need.
It certainly will not be easy, as Gerrit Cole will be taking the mound for the Pirates. The right-hander turned in an incredible performance in Game 2 in which he had the St. Louis batters completely under control.
Obviously, Holliday and the rest of the hitters will have to change that.