Brock Holt: 'It was an honor to play in this game'

Mike Petraglia
July 14, 2015 - 9:08 pm
CINCINNATI -- Who knew Brock Holt would play such a significant role in the All-Star Game? No, he didn't win MVP of the contest, won 6-3 by the American League over the National League at Great American Ball Park. But he did come in and replace the MVP, Mike Trout, who became the first-ever back-to-back winner of the Ted Williams MVP trophy. Holt came on in the seventh as a pinch-runner for Trout, who walked to begin the inning. He stole second base and scored on a Manny Machado double. He caught two fly balls in the ninth, including the one off the bat of Joe Panik to end the game. "I'm glad someone hit me a ball," said Holt, who didn't see any action in left field in the eighth. "I got two there in the last inning. To catch the last out of the game for the win was pretty cool." Holt made his biggest impact on the bases, taking advantage of the wildness of reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who bounced several balls in the dirt during his encounter with Manny Machado. "I wasn't planning on stealing the base," Holt said. "I knew he was probably going to go breaking balls in the dirt. I missed one dirt-ball read before so I wanted to be ready for the next one. Yady picked it and luckily I was able to get in there. Not a delayed steal, just looking for a ball down in the dirt and saw it angle down and read it from there. "It was great. Anytime you come to games like this, you want to get in, get an at-bat or something. Play a few innings in the field, run the bases a little bit. It was a lot of fun out there. Anytime you play a game, you want to win. Tonight is no different. It's home field advantage in the World Series. I had a blast." Even in winning the game, Holt was thinking of his Red Sox teammates who didn't get to take part, namely Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts. "I feel like Bogey was more deserving than myself to be here with the first half that he has had," said Holt, who will fly back to Boston Wednesday and leave with the Red Sox Thursday for their four-game series in Anaheim that opens Friday. "I was disappointed that he didn't get to join in because he really deserves it. But I have a feeling he's going to have a few of his own to come to. And Mookie, freak athlete, playing center field, used to play infield. He's been the catalyst for us for a while now. Those two guys are going to be good, extremely talented and we're luck to have them." Of course, what Holt will also remember is trying in vain to hit flame-throwing Aroldis Chapman, the Reds closer throwing the ninth inning in front of the home crowd. He struck out on five pitches. "As soon as I made the team, I kind of figured I would face Chapman," Holt said. "I was trying to get mentally prepared for that about a week ago. It still didn't help me out. I knew I would probably get an at-bat late and he would be throwing late. He's not fun to face. You want to face the best and he's one of them. It was fun." Fun was also the way Holt described getting to watch the Franchise Four and MLB Living Legends tribute pregame, as Johnny Bench, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were honored as the best four living MLB players in a fan vote. "Lot of fun," Holt said. "It's an honor to be able to play the same game as those guys and be on the same field as them. They were in our dugout before they went out. I got to shake Johnny Bench's and Barry Larkin's hands. Anytime you've got guys like that around, it's a pretty special moment. Pretty cool moment there."