The next matchup for the Greatest Cardinal Moment features two historic Cardinals: Adam Wainwright and Matt Holliday.
After knocking off the 2-seed, Matt Holliday and his emotional home run have moved to the semi-finals of the Cardsblog division. Looking to end the Cinderella-Run is Adam Wainwright and his caught-looking strike out to end the 2006 NLCS. Is Holliday’s time up, or Wainwright also be upset by the St. Louis favorites’s final at bat?
(10) MATT HOLLIDAY’S LAST AT-BAT AS A CARDINAL:
Moments like this show that baseball is truly more than just a game. Matt Holliday wasn’t retiring from baseball but all signs pointed to his time with the Cardinals coming to an end.
The month previous to this moment, Holliday was placed on the DL after breaking his thumb and subsequently having surgery. While rehabbing, the initial idea was to get Holliday healthy for playoffs. But that seemed to change as the season progressed. The Cardinals just wanted to give him a proper goodbye as their playoff hopes dwindled.
Holliday was activated early from the DL and after nearly a month of not hitting live in a game, was placed back on the team roster. It wasn’t likely that he would play or even get an at bat- the situation would need to be stress free.
In baseball, there are emotional moments that always seem to find a way of transforming into something special. In the 7th inning on September 30th, with the Cardinals up 5-0, Matt Holliday stepped up to the plate to pinch hit for Carlos Martinez.
After getting down 0-2, he gave St. Louis a reason to remember his last at bat. Matt crushed the next pitch- his last pitch ever seen in a Cardinal uniform- over the right field wall. As Holliday crossed home, he started tearing up showing just how much wearing the Cardinals uniform meant to him.
After 7 and a half years that saw 4 All-Star nods, a Silver Slugger award, 6 Play-Off seasons, 2 Pennants and a World Series ring, Holliday hit his 156th home run in a Cardinal uniform in his 4121 and final at bat for the team.
(3) WAINWRIGHT STRIKES OUT BELTRAN, 2006 NLCS
First, let’s set the scene: NLCS, Game 7, Shea Stadium. The powerful 97-win New York Mets–the only team in the National League to win more than 88 games–against the scrappy 83-win Cardinals. Peak superstar Carlos Beltran against untested rookie Adam Wainwright.
Then, the curve. Oh, that curve.
Down 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mets had rallied to load the bases with two outs. A single would have tied the game, an extra-base hit might have won it.
And Beltran was frozen.
It’s the ultimate moment in the midst of the title run–the lid on a magnificent, classic Game 7, complete with an Endy Chavez homer-robbing catch and a Yadier Molina go-ahead shot. The prequel to the World Series win, which ended with another Wainwright curveball.
It’s one of the most memorable moments in Cardinals history, featuring a Redbirds legend and a worthy opponent. This one will be tough to beat.
Who is moving on, and who is going home? You decide!