Holliday exits with hand injury, won't start finale

Holliday exits with hand injury, won't start finale

HOUSTON -- As the Cardinals continue to their run at the National League Wild Card, their degree of difficulty keeps getting higher. A day after losing Rafael Furcal to a hamstring injury, Matt Holliday was removed from Tuesday night's game against the Astros because of pain in his right hand.

Manager Tony La Russa said that Holliday will not start Wednesday's series finale against Houston, but he would not speculate beyond that. The discomfort is apparently a recurrence of, or related to, an injury Holliday dealt with earlier this month. He missed nine games due to an inflamed tendon in his right hand.

"I don't know what this means, beyond [Allen] Craig is playing left field [Wednesday]," manager Tony La Russa said. "But it's not good news."

Holliday reported additional discomfort in his hand prior to Tuesday's game, but attempted to play.  However, after 2 1/2 innings and one at-bat, the situation became too problematic, and he was removed in favor of Craig.

"He didn't take batting practice in a group, which should have told me something," La Russa said. "I saw him, I'd already written the lineup, and he said, 'I've got a little something.' ... Right then, I thought, 'I'm not sure if this is smart.' We let him go out there, and not only did it bother him to swing, it bothered him to throw."

Craig was 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs coming off the bench.