A few days after their loss in the NLCS, the St. Louis Cardinals are moving on with their offseason.
“It’ll sting knowing that we were this close (to the World Series) and didn’t make it, but I think it’s been a couple days and you realize (the Giants) just played better than we did,” Cardinals left-fielder Matt Holliday said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “They made the plays at the crucial points in the game. They earned the spot in the World Series.”
Still, it’s been quite a run for the Cardinals – and the Giants, for that matter. Those two teams have won three of the last four World Series, as both have made a living getting the better of other teams in the postseason.
“It’s how you play all season long,” Holliday said. “If you do the little things and (emphasize) attention to detail throughout the whole season, then when the playoffs show up there’s no change in how you have to play the game. Every play is so important in the playoffs. When the postseason hits, you’re used to making those little plays that end up helping you win games that sometimes get overlooked by other teams. So I think both us and the Giants do a good job of playing the game and doing the little things and making sure that everybody’s playing just to win the game. We play as a team. That’s probably what helps us.”
Is there any one thing Holliday wishes had gone differently in the NLCS?
“I don’t know if one thing would necessarily change the whole deal,” he said. “Shoot, probably just the little lapses we had maybe defensively early on in the series. I think if we could have won the first two games at home, obviously it takes a different look as it heads to San Francisco. You’re guaranteed to get back to St. Louis. So maybe that. I don’t know. In a seven-game series, trying to pick one thing out that could’ve turned the course of the series is pretty tough to do.”
As it stands, the Giants beat the Royals, 7-1, in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. Giants ace Madison Bumgarner threw seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball and now has a 0.68 road postseason ERA – the best in major league history among those with at least 25 innings pitched.
“I think the one thing he does, you don’t see his angle very often,” Holliday said. “It’s something that is different. He’s not a typical left-hander in how he throws. He can get in on righties really well. He can throw 93, 94. He’s got that good cross-side action, and then he throws a good slider. That’s what righties mostly see – his pitches in. And lefties see more of the slider and breaking ball. He mixes in his curveball and change-up for righties as well.”
Game 2 is Wednesday at 8:07 p.m. ET.