Matt Holliday is still bothered by the inflamed tendon in his right hand, but the Cardinals outfielder tested the injury during batting practice this afternoon and has decided to play tonight against the Phillies.
Holliday told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he took “a numbing agent … like a dentist gives” in order to play through the pain and is “good enough to help the team in some way.”
Holliday was out of the lineup for the first three games of the NLDS and struck out as a pinch-hitter in Game 1. His return means Skip Schumaker will start at second base, with Ryan Theriot moving to the bench. It also means Allen Craig will be on the bench after playing so well whenever he’s gotten an opportunity this season, which is why letting a banged-up Holliday talk his way into the lineup is a risk for manager Tony La Russa.
Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.
Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.
Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.
Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also, Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.
None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.