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Matt Holliday injury: St. Louis Cardinals slugger leaves blowout after HBP

The St. Louis Cardinals took a 9-1 lead into the sixth inning, but it took a potential Matt Holliday injury for them to consider resting their started in Game 1 of their late-September series with the Washington Nationals. Holliday took a Christian Garcia pitch directly to the elbow—the slow-motion replay was not pleasant—and left the game grimacing in the hands of Cardinals trainers. Shane Robinson replaced him on the base paths—though we don't know yet whether that's Mike Matheny's belated decision to rest the starters or the result of the beanball.

Holliday's spent recent weeks mired in a slump and fighting off rumors that he's playing hurt, and this won't do anything to dispel that particular notion. Between the back tightness, his stung elbow, and his Mendoza-minus-the-power line of late it wouldn't be a shock to see him get at least one of these Nationals games off, whether he's healthy or not.

So: Did Mike Matheny learn his lesson? Well, Adam Wainwright left the game after the inning, but Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran took their places behind Joe Kelly to start the seventh.