Cardinals place Matt Holliday on DL with hamstring injury

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Matt Holliday had hoped that the All-Star break would give his hamstring injury enough time to heal, but he remained out of the lineup yesterday and now the Cardinals have placed him on the disabled list.

St. Louis figures to keep using Allen Craig in left field, with Matt Adams taking over for him at first base. Adams has been fantastic in a part-time role all season, hitting .316 with seven homers and a .916 OPS in 148 plate appearances. Call-up (and minor league journeyman) Brock Peterson could also see some action after hitting a Pacific Coast League-leading 22 homers.

Holliday hasn’t been quite his usual self at the plate, hitting just .268 after topping a .290 batting average in each of his first nine seasons, but he did have 13 homers, 15 doubles, and an .800 OPS in 83 games.

Astros name Justin Verlander ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.