Last night’s NLCS game was full of action including a leadoff homerun, both pitchers hitting doubles, and the slide that no one would shut up about.
In case you missed it or did not hear about it, in the top of the first inning Matt Holliday slid well over the second base bag in an attempt to try and break up a potential double-play. During his slide he took Giants infielder Marco Scutaro out at the knees and then Twitter and Giants fans everywhere blew up.
Yes, the slide was aggressive and eventually caused Scutaro to leave the game but X-Rays came back negative and Scutaro will be re-evaluated today and likely will not miss any action. Major League infielder Will Rhymes tweeted “I have a serious problem with that slide” and Giants manager Bruce Bochy thinks the Cardinals got away with an illegal slide. I understand why some people have a problem with the slide but it has been completely blown out of proportion by fans and the media.
Holliday admitted himself that he wishes he slid a step earlier. I believe him. Holliday is not the kind of guy who is out to hurt another player. Giants’ outfielder Hunter Pence believes that and so should we. Holliday plays the game hard and when you only have a split second to make a decision, a decision that could lead to saving your team from an out and extend the inning, there is a chance that things will not go as planned.
Am I fan of the slide? No. But I am a fan of players who play hard and try to prevent outs for his team. Holliday will likely get a fastball in-between the letters at some point and he will likely put his head down and take his base, knowing exactly why he was hit. Hey, at least the slide was not as bad as Joe Morgan‘s in the 1972 World Series:
Now that is a Bush-League slide to get fired up about!
-Jonathan C. Mitchell can be found writing about the Tampa Bay Rays at DRaysBay and the Florida Marlins at ESPN’s SweetSpot site Marlins Daily. You can follow him on twitter at @FigureFilbert. Be sure to follow MLBdirt at @MLBdirt
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Bruce Bochy, Cincinnati Reds, Hunter Pence, Joe Morgan, Marco Scutaro, Matt Holliday, MLB Playoffs, NLCS, Oakland A's, Oakland Athletics, Playoffs, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Will Rhymes, World Series