The Cardinals beat the Pirates 6-4 tonight to stay within 4 1/2 games of the Braves in the Wild Card race, but they may have lost one of their big bats in the process.
According to Matthew Leach of MLB.com, Matt Holliday left tonight’s game with an injury to his right hand. Holliday went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts before Corey Patterson hit for him in the top of the ninth inning.
“I did something to my hand taking a swing,” said Holliday. “It’s a ligament or a tendon problem. I was just swinging a bat and I couldn’t swing it anymore.”
The full extent of the injury isn’t yet clear, but Holliday doesn’t believe he suffered a broken bone. He is expected to be reevaluated tomorrow morning.
Holliday, 31, is batting .295/.388/.528 with 22 home runs, 74 RBI and a .915 OPS over 503 plate appearances this season.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.