The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their Wild Card spot on the last day of the regular season, but they did it without Matt Holliday, who's dealing with a finger problem that's dogged him for the last several weeks. With champagne flowing in the Houston visitor's clubhouse after the game, Holliday acknowledged that he'd be getting a cortisone shot in an attempt to be ready for the postseason opener, Saturday's NLDS Game One in Philadelphia, but the Cardinals haven't yet offered an update on their star outfielder's condition. The Post-Dispatch reported after the game that Holliday's inability to throw was what kept him out of the game Wednesday.
Holliday was outstanding when healthy in 2011, but he struggled throughout the season with a series of strange and individually unimportant injuries, beginning with an emergency appendectomy that sidelined him after the first game of the regular season. His 124 games in 2011 were the fewest he's played since 2004, his rookie season.
In his absence the Cardinals will start rookie Allen Craig, who hit .315/.362/.555 in 75 games as the team's all-purpose replacement-slugger. After an unimpressive debut in 2010, Craig hit 11 home runs while standing at left field, right field, second base, center field, first base, and third base at various points in 2011.