Matt Holliday injury: Back tightness leads St. Louis Cardinals to scratch slugger for Game 6

Dilip Vishwanat

Matt Holliday was scratched from the lineup ahead of Game 6 of the NLCS between the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Francisco Giants with lingering back tightness. Matt Carpenter will replace him in the lineup.

Clutch Brigade, take note: Matt Holliday's attempts to play through injury have once again left the St. Louis Cardinals' star slugger open to the evidence-free supposition that he's not a clutch player, or is somehow afraid of the postseason. Now, after he hit .190 through five games of the NLCS, things have gotten even worse: He's been scratched from the lineup with back tightness. Allen Craig takes his place in left field, with Matt Carpenter joining the lineup and playing first base.

If you believe Matt Holliday to be unclutch, I'd invite you to take a look at his numbers with the Colorado Rockies back in 2007, or his 2011 NLCS numbers, or the home run he hit in the Wild Card play-in game. (He also drove in four runs despite hitting just .190 in the NLDS, which is a weird combination of clutchiness and unclutchiness.)

Holliday's numbers in the postseason are poor relative to his career numbers—he's down to .261/.339/.444 in 41 games there. But he's also been barely able to play for each of the last two postseasons. I think the easiest explanation is that his back is weak, and not his mind.

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