Matt Holliday: ‘Get A Boost From These Guys Returning’

It was quite the Holliday this past weekend – not because of Labor Day, but because Matt Holliday went beast mode on the Cubs and Pirates, going 7-for-11 with three home runs and 12 runs batted in over three games.

So, because he’s been so good at it lately, perhaps Holliday could help us in answering an age-old baseball question: Is it RBIs or RsBI?

“I would say RBIs, but it also makes sense if you don’t use the s,” the Cardinals right-fielder said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “But I think my lingo – and most baseball players’ lingo – would be RBIs.”

For Doug Gottlieb, this debate is similar to people who say, “I could care less,” which makes no sense because you’re saying the exact opposite of what you intend to say. In the case of RBIs versus RsBI, there has to be a right answer, no?

“I don’t know,” Holliday said. “Runs batted ins doesn’t really make any sense. I guess it is RBI, but I don’t know. I guess people just say RBIs.”

In any event, the Cardinals (76-63 entering play Sept. 4) have been on fire lately. They’ve won five straight – just as Milwaukee has lost eight straight – to take a three-game lead in the NL Central standings.

Interestingly enough, this run has coincided with the return of Yadier Molina, who missed roughly six weeks with a thumb injury. It’s great to have Molina back in the lineup, of course, but it’s even better to have him behind the plate.

“Obviously he’s amazing as far as his statistical skills,” Holliday said, “but . . . some of our pitchers that have thrown to him have an extra sense of comfort when he’s back. I just think there’s an amount of trust and comfort level that these guys have (with him).”

One of those guys, Michael Wacha (shoulder), will start against the Brewers on Thursday. It is Wacha’s first start since June 17.

“I think there’s an excitement level to having (Wacha) back,” Holliday said of last year’s postseason star. “There was an excitement level to get Yadi back a little bit sooner than we anticipated. Having him back there, it’s almost like getting a big trade or adding a big piece. It kind of picks up the morale, especially when the season gets late and everyone’s a little bit tired and you’ve played a bunch of games in a row and all of a sudden you get a little bit of a boost from some of these guys.”

The Cardinals and Brewers play a pivotal four-game series in Milwaukee this weekend. While the Brewers have been slumping, St. Louis could go from a three-game lead to a one-game deficit in the blink of an eye.

“Winning the division’s huge – and the play-in game has made it even bigger,” Holliday said. “All you’re getting, really, with a Wild Card is a chance to play one more game. Anything can happen in a one-game setup. You really want to win the division. These are huge games.”

Another huge games take place Thursday night – albeit one in a different sport. The NFL season kicks off with the Packers playing the Seahawks in Seattle.

If you’re curious, Holliday plays fantasy football. In fact, he had the ninth pick in his draft and took Dez Bryant and Julio Jones with his first two picks. His quarterback is Colin Kaepernick.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Holliday said.

Holliday said the Cardinals won’t be following the Packers/Seahawks game too closely while they’re playing the Brewers, but afterward, all bets are off.

“(We’ll get) just a little stat update here and there, but as soon as the game’s over, the football game will be on, especially if we win,” Holliday said. “It’ll be on, and it’ll be loud and guys will be (rooting for their fantasy teams). As soon as the game’s over, there’ll be a lot of football talk.”

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