Daniel Descalso on Matt Holliday’s Slide: “Good, hard, aggressive baseball play”

October 17, 2012 – 9:30 am by Chris Fedor

Through two games of the NLCS, the Cardinals and Giants have shown that this series will be memorable and neither wants to give an inch with a trip to the World Series up for grabs. The Cardinals took game one from San Francisco and they were looking to set the tone early in game two. The slide by Matt Holliday that injured Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro became the story of the game and looked to light a fire underneath the Giants. The Cardinals felt like it was a good, hard slide. The Giants thought even though Holliday had no intent to hurt Scutaro, it was too late for their liking. The series is all tied up at one apiece and the bad blood between the teams is boiling as the series shifts to St. Louis.

Daniel Descalso joined 95.7 the Game in San Francisco with the Wheelhouse to talk about what he made of Matt Holliday’s slide, whether he had any problem with Holliday’s arms being raised, what the protocol is for runners going into second base, if Scutaro played it right on his end, whether he expects the Giants to put a target on him at second base for the remainder of this series, what he expects the atmosphere to be like in St. Louis for game three and the ability for the Cardinals to bounce back.

What he made of Matt Holliday’s slide:

“I know Giants fans are not happy about the slide. Was it late? Yeah but nowhere does it say you can’t slide in hard and late. Matt is one of the best guys in the game of breaking up double plays and on a ball like that where it’s hit not so hard, as a second baseman, if you try to hang in there and turn a double play then you have to expect some contact. I’ve been in that spot before and it’s just part of the game. You’re going to get hit over there and you never want to see anyone get hurt but like I said it’s just a good, hard, aggressive baseball play.”

If he had any problem with Holliday’s arms being raised:

“His arms are up and you’re taught to slide and not put your hands on the ground in order to protect yourself from a jammed wrist. He didn’t grab him with his hands or drag him down. It was just a hard, late slide trying to break up a double play.”

On protocol for runners going into second base:

“You can go about it a lot of different ways. In this day and age you don’t see a lot of guys go into second base hard. You see a lot of guys slide straight into the bag and that makes my job turning a double play a lot easier and I think it adds to the fact that when you do see a guy go in hard people react a lot differently because you don’t see it all the time. I think it’s sort of a lost art, breaking up a double play. Over here we’re going to try to break up double plays as best we can and give ourselves extra outs.”

If Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro played it right on his end:

“I’m not sure what was going through Scutaro’s head but he’s a tough ballplayer and he’s going to hang in there but as a middle infielder you get a feeling for the guys around the league that come in hard and make your job difficult at second base. You have to give him credit for hanging in there and I don’t know how he did it but somehow he was able to get something on the throw and make the play close at first base. He could’ve gotten out of the way and just taken the out but he’s the type of guy that’s going to try to turn the double play. Matt Holliday is a big man coming in and bearing down on you and anytime you get hit by him it’s not going to feel good.”

Whether he expects the Giants to put a target on him at second base the remainder of the postseason:

“Every time I go to turn a double play at second base I’m expecting to get hit. That just comes with the territory. Some guys come in harder than others but that’s something that you sign up for as a middle infielder. There’s going to be contact around the bag. It’s not little league, this is the major leagues and these are professional athletes. They take pride in their job and play the game hard so every time there is a double play I’m expecting to get hit and I’m doing my best to get out of the way.”

What he expects the atmosphere to be like in St. Louis:

“It feels like we haven’t been here for a few weeks even though it’s only been a week. Coming off the win in Washington and the split in San Francisco I think the fans will be fired up to see us again and it should be a fun atmosphere. This is a great place to play and we’re excited to get back home and get on the field tomorrow.”

On the ability of his team to bounce back:

“We have a lot of guys who know how to bounce back in this clubhouse. A lot of veteran guys and a lot of guys who have been in these spots before. When we lose a game we have done a good job of bouncing back this year and we know the team we’re playing has done the same thing. Going into Cincinnati and having to win three and being able to do it, these are two teams that don’t quit and we match up really well with each other so the series has been great so far and wouldn’t expect anything less.”

Listen to Daniel Descalso on 95.7 the Game in SF here

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