St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday reinjured his right quad in the first inning Wednesday night against Cincinnati and immediately left the game.
The Cardinals said the injury was a strain, and that more information would be available Thursday. Holliday was undergoing an MRI and had left Busch Stadium by the time the Cardinals concluded their 1-0 loss to the Reds.
“The only thing I do know is it’s that same spot as before,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We’re trying to get a look at it as quick as possible to see severity.”
Holliday was ruled out on a 5-4-3 double play when he ran out of the baseline on his way to first. He jogged off the field with a noticeable limp, then collapsed to the floor of the dugout.
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Matheny acknowledged that the loss of Holliday, perhaps for the rest of the season, could influence what the Cardinals do in the trade market before the deadline at 3 p.m. Friday.
“You can’t deny the fact that it plays into the equation,” Matheny said. “We’re still in the information-gathering stage to find out what we’re looking at. I think once we have a better idea of what kind of severity there is to the injury, we’ll have a better idea of what we need to do to move forward.”
Short of a trade, Matheny said Holliday’s loss “creates an opportunity for somebody else.”
“We’re going to be firing some guys in there to figure out who’s going to take that opportunity and take that challenge and run with it,” Matheny said. “That happens throughout the year at different times. It’s already happened once this year in that particular spot. We have some young, talented players that are going to have to just come in and do their thing, not try to be Matt Holliday. We have faith they’re going to be able to do their thing.”
Holliday missed 31 games with a strained right quad suffered June 8 in Colorado, returning July 17. He is batting .290 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 63 games. Holliday’s season began with promise when he reached base in his first 45 games, setting a National League record.
Matheny had said in the last week that Holliday’s quad was getting stronger every day.
“We didn’t see anything that was leading in the direction that we thought this was going to reoccur if he was able to monitor what it felt like,” Matheny said. “That didn’t work.”
Stephen Piscotty moved to left field to replace Holliday. Mark Reynolds took over at first base.
The Cardinals were blanked on four hits for the second consecutive game and have not scored in 22 innings. They have scored in just one of the last 31 innings.
John Lackey’s terrific performance was wasted. Lackey (9-6) allowed just a second-inning homer to Jay Bruce. Lackey allowed two hits in eight innings, walked one and struck out eight.
Lackey tried to separate Holliday’s injury from the game unfolding on the field.
“You’ve got to keep going out there and pitching,” Lackey said. “You try not to let any distractions get involved when you’re in the middle of a start, for sure. It’s tough to see. You don’t want one of your big guys to go down like that.”
Matheny said some of Holliday’s teammates were shaken up.
“Whenever any of our guys go down, it takes a little wind out of our guys,” Matheny said. “It took an inning or so, and a conscious effort from our pitching staff, to keep pushing and keep the life and the energy in there.
“That’s a significant piece to our puzzle there. The new thought of him going back through this is something that stings for a few minutes, without question. But it’s been that kind of season. We’ve had this and we keep going. You don’t dwell on it too long, but you can’t expect them not to react in some way.”