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Matt Holliday unavailable for Game 1 of NLDS

Sep 29, 2011, 7:34 PM EDT

holliday getty wide Getty Images

Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday hasn’t played since aggravating his injured right middle finger during Tuesday’s game against the Astros. And he’ll remain sidelined even as the postseason is set to begin.

According to beat writer Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holliday has been ruled out for Game 1 of the Cardinals’ NLDS matchup with the Phillies due to ongoing middle finger discomfort.

Allen Craig, who batted .327/.364/.692 with five home runs and 12 RBI during the month of September, will draw the start in left field instead.

Holliday was given a cortisone shot on Thursday morning and is hoping to feel well enough to play in Game 2, but he’s been in and out of the starting lineup for the past several weeks and is clearly playing through pain. With a productive backup in Craig, the Wild Card champion Cardinals don’t have to push it.

  1. marshmallowsnake - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    It is OK. He would have misplayed a ball and taken it off the groin anyway.

    • ultimatecardinalwarrior - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:58 PM


  2. paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Is there any way that Corey F*cking Patterson is not on the playoff roster? The guy is 12 kinds of useless…and TLR will find a way to put him in the game in a high leverage situation….so he can fail….again.

    • okwhitefalcon - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:44 PM

      Less than 24 hours since The Birds wrapped up an unlikely playoff spot and you’ve gotten off a Corey Patterson blast and a shot at TLR.

      The over and under was 36 hours, well done!

      Enjoy the ride pape, who would have ever thought they’d get this far?

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:01 PM

        Feel free to refute any of my concerns. Patterson sucks, he played bad defense, he’s horrible and has no business being on a roster or in a playoff game….but he will be. You know it. I know it. And we both know who is the “thank” for it.

        …at least this way you can’t call it 2nd guessing….hell, it isn’t even foresight.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:53 PM

        Oh ya, he’ll be there – no doubt about it. The thought makes me shudder.

        More importantly, how are you handling the universal praise of TLR and his likely return if he so pleases?

      • paperlions - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:17 PM

        Universal? I don’t live anywhere near StL anymore….I haven’t read/heard anything praising LaRussa…indeed, most references to him referred to his incessant meddling and substitutions…often hampering the teams ability to win (for example, the Monday night game they should have won in Houston, that LaRussa helped to lose).

        Of course he’s going to return if he wants to….you don’t have the power he has to demand personnel changes without having the owner’s approval to do what you want. If he comes back…hopefully next year’s team can overcome their manager like this year’s team did.

      • spudchukar - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        For some time PL it is patently clear that you adhere to the “Barely Managing”, philosophy. That is your prerogative. What irks me is to expand your laissez-faire credo into motivation. Disagree with the micro-managing if you choose, but I take issue with your insistence that the moves TLR makes are done to somehow prove his own baseball IQ.

        LaRussa is concerned with one thing only, winning. And suggestions that any strategy he employs is for self-glorification is fantasy. Only by keeping his bench players sharp, by using them, did he allow the Cards to overcome the historic level of injuries and DL appearances. I applaud his foresight, patience, and use of a roster that was laden with rookies and role players that the stingy ownership insists is necessary. Thank God for TLR in 2011, or the Red Bird players would be calling for tee times rather than flying to Philly.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    All the MLB Network crew has been going gaga – Verducci, Reynolds, Gammons, Mitch Williams, Billy Ripken, John Heyman – et al.

    Same on MLB Radio today, Jim Bowden said (paraphasing) “Without question, one of the best managing jobs he’s ever seen, will get serious Manager of the Year consideration.”

    ESPN’s Larkin, Kruk and Schilling have all been extremely complimentary as well, no “winning in spite of” stuff at all.

    • paperlions - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      Jim Bowden? Seriously? Have you read that guy’s stuff? There is a reason he doesn’t work in MLB any more…and ex-players and story telling journalists that are more interested in the people that the sport. Nice group.

      As always….ALWAYS….when players perform, teams win…when they don’t, they lose. LaRussa regularly subs in inferior players for better players often costing his team games as they regularly gave up leads after he decided to put in the AAA squad and then didn’t have the fire power to come back.

      Please list all of LaRussa’s sage moves that helped the team win….like regularly putting in Patterson (and his .424 OPS) who made errors to lose a game, or subbbing in Descalso for Freese (who is a better hitter and and defender) or regularly putting in Rhodes for L-L matchups (Rhodes gives up an .873 OPS against lefties).

      If you evaluate the moves (i.e. the contribution of the manager), they were negative.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        Staff Ace (out since Spring Training). Closer (released mid season). Bullpen (one of..if not THE worst in MLB during the regular season). Arguably the games best #3, #4, #5 hitters in the lineup (at the same time) about a month of the season. 2nd Baseman (out what a Month?). 3rd Basemen (out what a Month)? Allen Craig (out what a 1 1/2 months)?
        Then to top everything off…Dave Duncan misses the ENTIRE month of September to care for his ailing wife. This leaves TLR responsible for pulling all the strings. Lineup, Defense, Starting Rotation, Bullpen…the whole gamut. Everyone has injuries. No doubt about it. During the course of 162 games you can’t avoid it. But the sheer amount injuries to core players has been ridiculous. So…yeah…that pretty much sums up what he brings to table. To reiterate…the guy drives me nuts. Again…that is why I call him “Triple Switch Tony.” But I have no problem giving him credit when it is deserved. And you can bet your ass it’s deserved this year.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        Just for the record…I am with you on Patterson. Not only due to Patterson himself…but primarily because (9 out of 10 times) it means Lance’s bat is no longer in the lineup. It drives me insane. It is always a late game defensive replacement in the 8th or 9th inning. As if Lance hasn’t absolutely brought it all year defensively. But Tony has still done a wonderful job this year.

      • okwhitefalcon - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Hey – don’t kill the messenger man, just giving you names and examples of the networks, people and praise TLR’s been receiving praise from.

        You’re not one of those fans that hang out on The St Louis Post Dispacth Cards message forum and starts threads like “FIRE TONY NOW” every time Albert takes an unnecessary baserunning chance are you?

        You’re favorite team has made the playoffs, have a little fun with it.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:44 AM

      You are dead on Falcon. I said the same thing a few days ago on Calcattera’s thread. He was bashing TLR (seems to be the trendy thing to do this year)…and I responded…”what are you going to do when hell freezes over, the Cardinals make the postseason and TLR gets NL Manager of the year.” Further, I was having this same conversation last night with by buddies (all Redlegs fans) over a couple of beers. The job he has done this year is nothing short of remarkable. And please know “Triple Switch Tony” tends to get on my nerves as well. My wife has had to stop from throwing my beer bottle at the TV several times this year. I am tired of seeing Lance’s bat out of the line up due to some “brilliant” late game defensive replacement. At the same time…I have no problem giving credit when it’s due. And it’s due here…no question.

      • salvomania - Sep 30, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        Bullpen (one of..if not THE worst in MLB during the regular season).

        Where do you get that? The bullpen runs-allowed-per-9 was middle-of-the-pack in the NL (4.27 vs. league average of 4.16), and even though the pen had 26 “blown saves” (four of those came in the season’s first 10 days via Ryan Franklin) most teams in the NL had 22 or more, so it’s not as if they’ve been horrific in that regard.

        And a factor in the amount of blown saves is that the Cardinals relievers appeared in tighter situations than the average team did: their relievers’ “Leverage Index” was the second highest in the NL, behind the Braves.

        Check out the combined numbers for the Cardinals five relievers most likely to factor into the playoffs (Motte, Salas, Rzepczynski, Sanchez, Dotel):

        220 ip, 151 h (.193 avg against), 2.49 era, 233 K/69 bb. Those are fantastic numbers from some strong arms, and they’ve been pretty damn good all year, especially lately.

        Have they lost some games? Sure. But at least when those guys come into a game I can envision them blowing away some hitters, and that certainly wasn’t the case when Franklin was closing.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        Salvo…thank you for the information. It does make me feel a little better about the pen situation. It sure seems like they struggled mightily though. I couldn’t help but notice off all the things I listed…this is the only thing you come up with. I guess that is a good thing…huh? Nevertheless, thanks again for the information…even if don’t know that the hell a “leverage index” is. LOL! It is becoming quite comical really. I mean…each day seems to bring a new (be all…end all) sabermetric, statistician type term that is the gospel. No slight on you…please know that. Again…thanks for the information as it does make me feel a little better about the bullpen.

  4. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:19 AM

    I would rather Holliday play banged up. 102 wins, most in franchise history. Funny, no press for this milestone or Charlie Manuel. How was the coverage of 10,000 losses? Top story but then again who cares about proper balanced journalism any more.

    • cintiphil - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      Your logic is failing. The 10,000 losses is a MLB record. The team record of 102 means nothing to the league, only for the Phills. Why should the press go gaga over this stat. The press in Philly may, but it means nothing to us. Cleveland had about 111 wins when the schedule was 154. The Yankees, Cardinals and the Reds all have won over 102 in a season. Other teams have also, but I can’t think of them now. (Maybe Detroit).

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