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Holliday break is over

Matt Holliday, who left Thursday's game early and didn't start Friday's game because of illness, is back in the lineup for the Cardinals' Saturday game against the Mets, according to the team.

It's good to have the extra firepower batting in the lineup because the Birds haven't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball the last couple of days. And they haven't historically fared very well against New York starter Johan Santana who is 2-0 with a 2.63 in his career against St. Louis.

David Freese has been hot as a firecracker on the Cardinals homestand. He's 7-for-12 in his last three starts to raise his batting average to .367. Felipe Lopez has six hits in his last 14 at bats including his Friday night grand slam that downed the Mets.

But the rest of the bats seem to be ice cold:

Yadier Molina hit .278 in two road series before the Birds came home. At Busch stadium this season he is hitting .077 to drag his overall batting average to .194.

Colby Rasmus hasn't had a hit since April 10. During that span his batting average has plummeted from .385 to .200.

And then there is Brendan Ryan who has two hits in 25 at bats so far this season. He made an out last night and his batting average fell from .083 to .080. It's pretty remarkable in the first two weeks of the season when your batting average is so low that it only falls .003 when you make an out.

I'm not sure why the Cardinals are struggling. And, no, I don't think it's because of new hitting coach Mark McGwire. It seems like the young guys got off to a bad start and now they're squeezing the sawdust out of their bats.

blog post photo

The Cardinals will have their dynamic duo back in the lineup tonight. Matt Holliday, who was out Friday with flu-like symptoms including a high fever, will rejoin Albert Pujols in the middle of the batting order. AP photo.

Guys are still hitting the ball hard. Joe Mather should have had a couple of hits last night that were robbed from him by the Mets defense. Molina hit an easy double down the right field line that was caught on a dead run and just missed a homer to right center the day before.

But if the Redbirds couldn't hit Bud Norris or Oliver Perez, I have a hard time believing that they're going to thrash Johan Santana Saturday night to break out of their team slump.