The news just keeps getting better for the St. Louis Cardinals, thanks to Matt Holliday.
On the heels of Matt Adams‘ return from the 15-day disabled list, highlighted by his three home runs in three games, Holliday is on the verge of a major milestone that only 276 other players have accomplished in MLB history.
Holliday has 999 career runs batted in, and the next time he knocks in a run will make 1,000.
Granted, this is not a sexy statistic. As the old saying goes, chicks dig the long ball and Holliday can hit those. He also can drive in runs, and this is a major reason why Holliday has helped the Cardinals stay relevant almost every postseason since his arrival.
Thanks to Holliday’s solid day at the plate, the Cardinals just swept the Washington Nationals. If you haven’t been paying too much attention to other division races lately, the Nationals and the Atlanta Braves have battled for first place in the National League East as of late. The Braves won’t send any Christmas cards to St. Louis for the Cardinals’ job well done, but this helps.
If you are still trying to wrap your arms around the magnitude of Holliday’s accomplishment, think about this. His next RBI will tie Holliday with Darryl Strawberry on the all-time list. Easily within reach this season are players such as Wade Boggs, Ralph Kiner and Rod Carew. Those three are in the Hall of Fame.
Don’t write in Holliday as a Cooperstown candidate just yet. Time is the ultimate test to see whether Holliday belongs in the hallowed halls of upstate New York.
Where Holliday does belong is in the middle of the Cardinals’ lineup. After some very weak performances at the plate, the team is back on an upswing. The Cardinals needed this. You can only rely on pitching for so long before even the arms get tired.
Holliday and Adams have helped this team stay within striking distance of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central. The Cardinals don’t see Milwaukee again until a three-game series from July 11-13, just before the All-Star break. A lot can happen between now and then, but St. Louis needs to start winning and Milwaukee to start losing.
Holliday’s bat can help a great deal. He didn’t reach the milestone on Sunday, but be sure to congratulate him on the honor shortly. The next seven games are at Busch Stadium, so the appreciative crowd will get a chance to stand up and applaud.
As the late, great Jack Buck always said, “That’s a winner!”