At this point the slide may be forgotten. In Game Two of the National League Championship Series, Matt Holliday of the St. Louis Cardinals slid hard into the San Francisco Giants' Marco Scutaro. The slide caused Scutaro's body to bend at an awkward angle and looked as if it may have hurt his right leg. It turned out, Scutaro had injured his hip. He had tried to stay in the game but was eventually removed. All Scutaro did was come back from that injury, lead his team to yet another comeback and into the World Series, and earn the NLCS MVP.
Standing in the rain with two outs in the ninth inning, the Giants so close to a return to the World Series, Scutaro threw his arms into the air and welcomed the down pour. He wasn't worried about a possible delay. He was simply enjoying the moment, as well he should. Scutaro was fantastic in the NLCS. He reached base an impressive 16 times says Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. He collected 14 hits. He had a .500 batting average. He earned his moment of pure joy in the cold rain on a special night in San Francisco.
Not only is Scutaro's MVP award impressive because of his performance, it's impressive because of the route he took in coming to the Giants. Scutaro was not hitting with the Colorado Rockies this season. In fact, his line was a meager .271/.321/.364 with Colorado. After being traded to the Giants, he caught fire. He hit .362/.385/.473. And then the postseason happened. Then the slide happened.
Holliday's slide was a play that could have gone either way. It could have truly injured Scutaro to the point where he couldn't play (or maybe just sent him into a slump), or it could have fired him and his teammates up. We all know it was the latter that happened. There was no retaliation. There was no need for it. Holliday found himself in a tailspin of his own after the slide while Scutaro emerged as a hitting machine.
After the Game Two injury, the Giants went on to win four of the last five games, they outscored the Cardinals 24-12. And it was due in large part to Scutaro. He doesn't drive the ball. He isn't going to deposit home runs into the bay. What Scutaro does is set the table. He got on base. He kept innings alive. He drove in runs. He was an MVP.
Now, with Scutaro apparently healthy, the Giants will welcome Detroit to San Francisco for Game One of the World Series on Wednesday.