ST. LOUIS -- Is tradition and atmosphere worth points on the batting average? As far as Rockies star left fielder Matt Holliday is concerned, the answer just may be yes.
Holliday heads into Monday afternoon's season opener against the Cardinals with a .483 batting average, five home runs and seven RBIs in eight games at the current Busch Stadium. He wasn't bad at the old place (.300 with an RBI in three games), where he made his Major League debut on April 16, 2004.
Holliday, who finished second in National League Most Valuable Player voting last year, said he doesn't see any special advantage for hitters in the park's feel and look. But he feels the history and tradition playing in St. Louis brings makes a difference.
"I don't know that it's necessarily one particular reason, but I like the atmosphere here," Holliday said. "I don't know if there's any easy way to explain. I like the stadium. I like the tradition, the crowd. Some places you hit better than others, and I seem to do pretty well here."
It could be the opponent, also. Holliday has hit .418 with nine home runs and 22 RBIs in 22 games against the Cards. He's 0-for-2, however, against Opening Day starter Adam Wainwright, who nonetheless understands Holliday's magic against his club.
"I'm not worried about it," Wainwright said Sunday. "It's one of those things where a guy's probably hitting .550 against a lot of teams. He's a pretty good hitter. He's like Albert [Pujols] almost -- almost.
"He's definitely tough on us, but there's a lot of guys who are tough on teams and if you put too much thought into it, you end up casting the ball down the middle. I have a game plan for it and I'm going to follow it. And if I make my pitches, I'm very confident I can get him out."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.