In the immediate aftermath of Monday's fateful play, Matt Holliday tried to check in on a player he admires.

"Are you OK?'' Holliday asked Marco Scutaro.

But there was no reply. Scutaro was in too much pain. Instead, the only response Holliday got came from a sellout crowd at AT&T Park, which booed Holliday loudly for the hard slide that injured the Giants second baseman.

Holliday's slide was too late, by his own admission, but he stressed that there was no ill intent.

"I'm not a dirty player,'' the six-time All-Star said.

During a subdued, even-voiced session at his locker after the Giants' 7-1 victory in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, Holliday explained that he was playing with the hard-nose style expected with a trip to the World Series at stake.

He was on first base with Carlos Beltran on second when Allen Craig hit a slow grounder to shortstop. Shortstop Brandon Crawford threw the ball to Scutaro at the second-base bag, Holliday — a 6-4, 235-pound former high school quarterback — slid past the bag and crashed into Scutaro's lower body.

Holliday succeeded his mission: The Cardinals avoided the double play as umpires ruled Craig safe at first.

But the play sent the 185-second baseman crumpling to the ground in agony.