Matt Holliday unavailable for Game 1 of NLDS

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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.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.