St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Daniel Descalso stood in front of his locker following Monday night's 7-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants and answered every question thrown at him.
Descalso, who attended St. Francis High and UC Davis before joining the Cardinals organization, went hitless in four at bats, striking out once and stranding two runners.
He maintained his poise, was thoughtful with his answers and charming to boot. Here's a kid who has had to work hard for everything he has achieved, every step of the way. It would be easy for him to pull an attitude.
He doesn't do that though. He's a class act, humble and accommodating. He's the kind of guy you end up rooting for, even if he's playing against the Giants.
Descalso was asked about Matt Holliday's hard slide into second base, taking out Marco Scutaro to break up a double play. Scutaro eventually left the game with soreness in his left hip.
"As a second baseman I've been taken out my share of times," Descalso said. "If you hang in there, it's the risk you're willing to take. A lot of guys would not have been able to make that throw. He got off a strong throw to first base."
Holliday, who played briefly for the Oakland Athletics, said he regretted not sliding just a tad earlier.
"When I'm at first and see a grounder to short, I'm just trying to make sure they can't turn the double play," Holliday said. "He was right on second base. In hindsight I wish I would have started the slide a little earlier but it happened so fast. I hope he's OK, he's a good guy."
Added Descalso: "Some guys take pride in breaking up double plays. Holliday is one of them. You don't want to see anyone get hurt but I am all for playing the game hard."
Descalso was 2-for-4 in Sunday's 6-4 win over the Giants and had a terrific division series. He's one of the feel-good stories of the season.
He arrived in the major leagues as a September call-up in 2010 and hasn't looked back. He's a career .245 hitter with five home runs and 58 RBIs in 302 career games.
Descalso made an impact as the Cardinals went on to win the World Series last year, and he's looking for a repeat performance.
"That's a great team over there and they are not going to roll over," Descalso said of the Giants. "Now we have three games in St. Louis and it turns into a five-game series so to speak. We have the home field advantage for the next few days."
As for Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched a four-hitter over seven innings to gain the victory, Descalso was impressed.
"He kept us off balance," Descalso said. "We was locating to both sides of the plate and we could not get anything going."
The Cardinals will be playing at home for the first time in a week. They hosted the Washington Nationals the first two games of the division series before flying to Washington for three games and then making the cross country trip to San Francisco.
"It does feel good to be going home with three in a row in front of the home crowd," said Cardinals' Alan Craig, a California product. "It does seem like a while ago."