PITTSBURGH -- PNC Park is known for its spectacular views and, as of this week in particular, its boisterous blackout crowd. But it also has its unique aspects inside the playing confines, particularly a left field so spacious it has a nook in left-center, 410 feet away from home plate.
The Cardinals, of course, know all about that, having played there 10 times this season, the 11th being Sunday's Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Pirates.
"I would say if we never played here before it could possibly be a challenge. We have played a significant amount of games," Cards manager Mike Matheny said of PNC's quirky dimensions. "I think it's one of the nicest venues in baseball, especially when you start putting people in it and you've got excitement."
While the Bucs boast two elite speedsters in center fielder Andrew McCutchen and left fielder Starling Marte, for the Cardinals, it's up to Matt Holliday -- known more for power than speed -- to patrol the pasture in left field, with the assistance of center fielder Jon Jay.
Holliday had a memorable play earlier this season that earned him some razzing from the fans in the bleachers in left.
After he showed he could cover the ground back to the 383-foot mark in straightaway left on July 30, Holliday's attempt to snare a McCutchen liner bounced off his glove and into the stands for a homer -- leading to a "Holl-i-day" chant from the stands similar to the business Pirates fans gave Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto in the NL Wild Card Game.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.