Matt Holliday pulled from game with tightness in left quad

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It’s funny, right, that two of St. Louis’ three starting outfielders are now being bothered by injuries and not one of them bears the name Lance Berkman?

B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest passes along notice that Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday had to be lifted after the second inning of Wednesday evening’s game against the Astros due to tightness in his left quadriceps muscle.

Holliday appeared to tweak a leg muscle while trailing back on an Angel Sanchez fly ball to left field in the first inning. Holliday made the catch, but he had to travel a long way in a short period of time and may have strained something. Mark Hamilton took over out in left field and at cleanup one inning later.

Cardinals center fielder Colby Rasmus is also being bothered by an injury, thought to be an ab strain.

UPDATE: Forget the health praise for Berkman. He exited in the fifth inning after making a diving catch and coming up with a sore wrist, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It might have been a precautionary move because the Cards have a big lead on the Astros.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.