A few hours after finishing an 18-inning game against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley and flying to Cincinnati to start a new series against the Reds, Yankees veteran slugger Matt Holliday joined The Jim Rome Show and pointed out the positives of the last few hours of his and his team’s lives.
“If you’re going to have to play for six hours and get in at six in the morning, you might as well win, right? So, thankfully we were able to win and that makes it feel a little bit better,” Holliday said about the Yankees’ 5-4 victory. “Obviously, you never expect Aroldis Chapman to blow a 3-run lead, it doesn’t happen very often, at all really that I know of, and so surprising a little bit, the game could have been over at a reasonable time, but we fought back and we’re able to get the win and get a sweep in Chicago, which is tough to do, and so we’re feeling pretty good about how we’re playing and we will try to roll it back out there tonight and a little extra coffee and get after it.”
The 37-year-old joined the Yankees in the offseason, and having spent the majority of his career in the National League, he talked about his transition to American League pitching.
“I think it’s a little bit easier nowadays. I think obviously we play a lot of interleague games, and so you have some familiarity with guys around the league,” Holliday said. “There’s so much advanced scouting, and there’s iPads that they give us and they have all the pitching on there. So we have opportunities that maybe you didn’t have in the past when you had league transitions, and so I feel like it’s gone pretty smooth.
“Obviously there’s guys that you’re going to run in to that the first time through you’re going to have to kind of see their pitches and see their tendencies and try to adjust to that. But for the most part, it’s been pretty smooth, and I feel pretty good about how it’s gone so far, and it’s been a fun team to be a part of. So I’m just trying to do my part and come to the park every day and help the team win, and I think that’s been the mindset of all the guys which is kind of the key to our hot start.”
The AL East leading Yankees remind the seven-time All-Star of his 2007 Colorado Rockies who made it to the World Series.
“I think the young players, kind of like we were young players at the time were kind of coming into their own at the right time, at the same time,” Holliday said. “And I think a lot of the young guys on this team, some of them are already established with (Starlin) Castro, and Didi Gregorius, but there’s some young guys like Aaron Judge, and (Gary) Sanchez, and Greg Bird that are really, I think come into their own and kind of hit the part of their career where they are really going to take off.
“So we have a good mix of veteran and young guys which I think we had in ’07, and the young guys provide a lot of energy and excitement and the older guys provide some veteran leadership, and we’re going to hit a stretch where we don’t play great and that’s our job to make sure the young guys understand to keep grinding.
Holliday continued, “I think it’s a good mix, and I think this young group of guys has tons of talent, and I think they’re all very serious about their careers and they take things very seriously, and it’s very important to them, and I think that’s a good recipe.”