The Cardinals received some bad news tonight, as outfielder Matt Holliday was diagnosed with a fractured right thumb, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter). He left tonight’s action after being struck by a pitch.
[Related: Updated Cardinals Depth Chart]
While the prognosis remains unknown, the loss of Holliday even for a few weeks would constitute a significant blow to a St. Louis organization that is battling for a post-season berth. While the division may well be out of reach, the Cards are in position for a Wild Card spot, but face several tough competitors to make it into the one-game playoff.
Holliday, 36, hasn’t produced to his typical levels thus far with a .241/.315/.451 slash over 419 plate appearances. Though he has regained the power he didn’t show last year — he already has 19 home runs — the veteran’s typical on-base abilities have been lacking. After posting double-digit walk percentages for each of the last eight years, Holliday has slipped to an 8.1% mark thus far in 2016. He has also been stung by a .250 BABIP despite a healthy 38.8% hard-hit ratio.
Despite those relative struggles, there’s plenty of reason to believe that Holliday is capable of putting up quality numbers. Indeed, after a rough month of July, he has hit more like himself through the first two weeks of August. Whether a full turnaround is in the cards may now have to wait.
In the near term, the Cardinals’ flexibility will be reduced — particularly with first baseman Matt Adams and also shortstop Aledmys Diaz already on the DL. Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk represent right-handed-hitting outfield options to go with Stephen Piscotty, with Brandon Moss and Jeremy Hazelbaker available from the left side. Without Adams and Holliday in the mix, though, the club’s match-up options are greatly reduced.
Looking beyond this season, the injury only heightens the uncertainty surrounding Holliday’s future in St. Louis. He is controllable via a $17MM club option that comes with a $1MM buyout, and it was already unclear whether that would be exercised. It’s a hefty pay rate, but one that is unquestionably worth it for a typical Holliday season. After all, he carries a .292/.379/.493 slash over his eight years with the Cards. Even with his output dipping of late, Holliday was a well-above-average hitter before the present season. But without the chance to observe his play down the stretch, the investment becomes all the more questionable.
Wow, yet another injury……still, it’s the Cardinals, so if anyone can pull it off, they can.
Is that part of the cardinal way, being able to overcome injuries more than any other team?
They have been one of the best teams to do it.
If you’re curious of what the Cardinal Way is, maybe you should look into it.
It’s a booklet prospects get. It has big hidden secrets like “get ahead in the count” “be aggressive” “hit the cut off man”…
Guess what? Every team has one. For some reason it has become some hated thing by the ani-birdos.
The “Cardinal Way” just means they take it in the butt from Matheny. Go Cubs!!
It is nice to not have a generic flag and a song to remind us that we win. Our 11 championship flags we fly in our ballpark tell us who is the supreme franchise of the 2 teams.
Tough break and if he misses 4-6 weeks, it may even be the end to his time in St. Louis. I wonder if he’ll be open to a DH role in the AL next year or retire? Houston, Kansas City and the White Sox were three teams that initially stood out who could have needs at that spot in 2017.
It is a tough break and we have seen the last day of Holiday in a cardinal uniform.
I see him retiring. He was always a good leader on the team. I wish him well.
How about that final ball? LOL
Kinda hard to win when the Ump can’t make the correct call.
It happens to every team.
But, something like this is obviously unacceptable.
Right, I don’t mean to say this was targeted at the Cardinals or that it is only the Cardinals who get hurt by poor calls -. I just want to highlight that it happened to end a game and, as you said, that is unacceptable.
I have to say, I was following most of the game via the MLB At Bat app, and it made the strike zone was a joke, though I get that At Bat/Gameday aren’t always the most accurate in that respect.
It wasn’t until later in the game that I turned it on, and it was horrible. As a Cubs fan, I happily toon the win, especially with most of the bullpen already used, but damn.
Things like that lead me to think that if they’re going to use instant replay (which I’m cool with,) they need to use it for balls and strikes, assuming it was limited to called strike 3/ball 4. Because there are a lot more games that are cost due to bad strike/ball calls than other plays.
Couldn’t agree more
The calls went both ways tonight.
It was a bad call, but I can see how he made that mistake. It looked like a cutter, and that movement brought it onto the plate after it looked like it was off.
I’m a cubs fan. I feel like that win was so cheap. I know umps blow calls for both teams, but this is why you need robo umps.
The final pitch didn’t cost the Cardinals the game; it only ended it. Last I checked, the Cubs loaded the bases prior to that pitch, and a strike call in that situation wouldn’t have even ended the Cubs inning.
The Cardinals failure to execute throughout the game is what cost them. You want to blame someone? How about you start with Carlos Martinez for cutting off a ball for no reason, and allowing a run to score. How about you look at Matt Carpenter’s failure to come up with a hit in the same situation a half inning prior.
The fact is that when the game mattered most, the Cubs executed and the Cardinals simply didn’t.
When Martinez tries to quick pick Coghlan in a 2-out, bases-loaded, 3-2 situation in the 6th inning, and Coghlan stepped out of the box – but wasn’t granted time – he somehow got back in the box and drilled a 2-run, game-tying single to RF. That’s executing. Meanwhile, Martinez, instead of backing up the catcher, chose to cut off the throw to the plate (allowing the tying run to score.) That’s a failure in execution.
When the Cubs needed another run, it was their back-up catcher laying down a suicide squeeze for a base hit. That’s execution. Martinez, meanwhile, fell off the mound toward the first base side, pulling him away from the play and forcing a hurried throw that was off line. That’s a failure to execute.
When Piscotty crushed a pitch to the wall, the Cubs made two perfect throws to nail Carpenter at the plate. That’s execution.
And when the Montgomery put himself in a bases-loaded situation in the final frame, he got the Cardinals best hitter to strike out. When Zach Duke found himself in the same situation, loading the bases for the Cubs best hitter – he put himself in a 3-0 count…..
No matter how much you want to pinpoint a single missed ball/strike call, it wouldn’t have mattered if the Cardinals had executed throughout the game. That they didn’t is the only reason a single pitch even mattered.
Yes Justinept- very very good wrap-up of the game as a whole. Yes I am a Cubs fan and watched that last pitch too, I can agree that it was a missed call. But as one that played the game through college and had many friends/colleagues that played in or work in the MLB, execution is critical! The Cardinals had multiple times to deal blows in this game and did not. I was surprised because they are known for playing good ball, a well disciplined team and have been for years. I know the injuries do not help but they have a good farm system. Anyhow, the Cubs can speak to subject of execution too as they had a rough/horrible mid June to mid July. But looking much much better now. Hope to watch good ball during this series!
You left out the fact that the Cardinals also had Gyorko get picked off first base before Grichick’s game tying shot to tie it. Had Jed not gotten picked off that becomes a two run game game winning shot. That was an example of executing failure. I am a die hard Cards fan by the way.
Completely agree. Calls are always going to be blown — that’s a given in any game. Sometimes it’s in your favor, sometimes it’s not. It’s up to you and your team to put enough breathing room in between that call ending your game and you leaving with a loss.
Scoop up A-rod before the Marlins do!
Heads up Anthony Rizzo!
Thats right do it “the cardinal way”. It wasnt intentional. But i guess thats what i should expect from your fan base.
It never matters to the Cardinals… The self-proclaimed baseball police will do what they always do…. Better hope they don’t injure Rizzo or Bryant with one of their intentional pitches because whoever throws that pitch would need a police escort every time he returns to Chicago…
Seriously. There is absolutely 0% chance that this was intentional. When you’re 12 games up on the closest thing you have to competition in your division, you don’t randomly pluck a 36 year old, barely replacement level player.
This being said, I understand the Cardinals fans’ frustration like a week after losing another star in similar fashion.
And what you’d expect from any other team. If a pitcher throws up and in, hits a batter and possibly ends his season then that team should expect one of their players to get hit. It’s not the “Cardinal Way” nonsense, it’s baseball. People like you are just too ignorant to understand that.
Yeah there Joe Maddon. Calm down and go see how many players each has hit in the last 2 seasons. The sheep follow him so bad it’s hilarious.
I would imagine that Joe Maddon has hit 0 people in the last 2 seasons
Well, c’mon… he’s lost a lot of velocity from that fastball…
Our fan base and team adhere to the code like everyone else. Cardinal management also adheres to the code in the interviews after the games as well.
Maybe cub fans and players need to remind Joe Maddon to do this. Joe just believes his pitchers have never intentionally thrown at anyone. Maybe if Joe had played a game in his life he would be taken seriously for what he says in interviews?
I hope this doesn’t happen….
Meh? Rizzo gets beaned on the reg anyway
Not heads up, they won’t pitch up and in. Rizzo or Bryant will get plunked but it’ll be in the leg or back, not the head.
I’m not a Cubs or Cardinal fan. I’m just saying Heads Up Rizzo. I don’t want him plunked.
I don’t think the HBP was intentional.
Let’s have a good show tonight.
“Whether a full turnaround is in the cards may now have to wait”
Well played Jeff, well played indeed.
Ah, you beat me to it! (laughing)
Still the biggest loss of the year is Oquendo
I don’t believe it was intentional, and the answer certainly isn’t hit the Cubs batters back. Go beat them, and stop making excuses for your losses, you had the opportunity to win last night
Can’t they do both? Bean and win!
Apparently not, they got destroyed today