(Updated Oct. 3, 2016)
Following the advice of hitting coaches Mark McGwire and John Mabry, Matt Holliday made an adjustment in his batting stance and had his most productive game with the Cardinals.
On June 16, 2012, Holliday had four hits, including two doubles and a home run, five RBI and two runs scored in the Cardinals’ 10-7 victory over the Royals at St. Louis.
In eight years (2009-2016) with St. Louis, Holliday produced 1,048 hits in 982 games, including 156 home runs, 237 doubles and 616 RBI. He batted .293 and produced a .380 on-base percentage in his Cardinals career.
Holliday 13 times had four-hit games for the Cardinals and three times had five-RBI games for them.
Only once, though, did he have four hits and five RBI in a game for St. Louis. It happened while he was in a slump entering that June 16, 2012, game against the Royals at St. Louis.
Finding a flaw
Holliday had gone hitless in 12 consecutive at-bats before facing the Royals. He hadn’t hit a home run in almost a month.
McGwire and Mabry spotted a flaw in Holliday’s batting stance and told him about it hours before the game.
“Looking at video and working in the batting cage, Holliday was able to right what they saw was wrong,” reported Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He became more upright at the plate and kept from bending at the waist.”
Making what he called a “little mechanical adjustment,” Holliday went on a tear against the Royals.
In the seventh, with the Royals ahead 7-6, Holliday hit a RBI-single off Greg Holland, tying the score. Video
“It’s been frustrating,” Holliday said. “My swing has felt a little off. I’ve been trying to battle, trying to get a groove, trying to find a comfort zone.”
The four-hit game lifted Holliday’s batting average from .267 to .278. He finished with a stellar season for the 2012 Cardinals, hitting .295 with 27 home runs and 102 RBI.
Previously: Left field leaders: Matt Holliday, Stan Musial