PHOENIX, Az. (KMOX) — Participating in his third career Home Run Derby, Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hit a total of 7 home runs on twenty swings on Monday night at Chase Field. The Redbird’s slugger hit 5 long balls in the first round along with two other players, who beat Holliday in the tiebreaker round to advance.
Holliday was wearing 1980’s Cardinals powder blue shoes and had his fellow All-Star teammate, catcher Yadier Molina, pitch to him. The five-time All-Star was the second batter on Monday night behind Adrian Gonzalez of the Boston Red Sox, who hit the most in the first round with 9 long balls.
Tied with Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers and David Ortiz of the Red Sox, Holliday came up short in the elimination round in which the batter receives five swings rather than an amount of outs. Holliday would hit one out 437 feet to center field on the third swing and pull another to left field on his last swing to finish with 2 homers and seven total on the night. However, Fielder, the NL captain, was perfect hitting 5 home runs and Ortiz, the AL captain, went deep 4 times.
Apparently unaware of the format change, Holliday was heard saying on the ESPN broadcast, “Literally five swings? I didn’t know.”
Fielder and Ortiz joined Adrian Gonzalez plus Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees in the second round.
In the first round, Holliday got off to a quick start hitting his first ball out of the park to left field. He would hit his second on his fifth swing. On his ninth swing, Holliday crushed a ball that landed 443 feet away from home plate in left center field over the first level stands. Finally, down to his last out, Holliday hit two more home runs.
As he was walking back towards the NL dugout, Holliday was heard saying to Molina, “My bad, guy. You were awesome!”
The derby was Holliday’s second consecutive as he participated last season at Angels Stadium in Anaheim finishing fifth with 5 total home runs. His first derby was in 2007 when he was with the Colorado Rockies. He would end up tying Albert Pujols with 13 total home runs at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The winner of the 2011 Home Run Derby was Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees who had to hit a record 12 homers in the final round to defeat Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez actually tied the former record of 11 deep balls, which was set by Bobby Abreu in 2005 and David Ortiz in 2010. Cano is the first player from the Yankees since Jason Giambi in 2002 to win the derby. His 32 home runs is tied for third most amount of home runs hit in derby history.
Other participants did not do so well. Current MLB home run leader Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays hit 4 home runs, Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers hit 3 shots, and Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers only got 2 homers.
The first round, which has the most amount of hitters, had a total of 41 home runs. That is the lowest amount in the first round since 2007 when there was only 31 homers at AT&T Park. The past three derbies had a first round average of 55 homers, including the 2009 contest at Busch Stadium.
David Ortiz passed Ken Griffey Jr in the first round to be come the all-time leader in Home Run Derby history. He finished with 9 home runs giving him a career total of 77 shots in four appearances.
The AL players had a total 76 home runs while the NL players could only hit 19 homers.
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