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Holliday back in the line-up after being hit by a pitch Friday

The Cardinals have announced that Matt Holliday is in the starting line-up tonight against the Nationals.

He was hit on the able late in the Friday night game with a pitch and, after stalking around behind the plate in pain for several minutes, he had to leave the game.

The Birds said after the game Friday that Holliday was day-to-day. I wonder, despite the fact that the club needs one of its most consistent hitters as it tries to close out the second wild card playoff berth, if it might be a good idea to give Holliday a couple of days to rest.

Over the past month he has hit only .222 to drag his batting average down from .311 on August 27 to it's present .292 mark. Holliday has struck out 25  times in the last month, including seven games in which he's struck out two or more times. He's two for his last 17 at-bats.

So a break would seem in order.

But I guess that's hard to pull off when the team's other slugging corner outfielder, Carlos Beltran, is hitting so terribly.

Beltran, who batted sixth in the order Friday, is batting .226 since he participated in the dreaded home run derby during the All-Star break. In the last month he has managed five extra base hits while striking out 20 times and walking 12.

In Friday night's slugfest that saw the Cardinals win 12-2, Beltran was one of the few St. Louis starters who didn't get a hit -- although he did walk three times. I guess that's a good sign because Beltran has been getting himself out a lot on terrible pitches in the last couple of months.

Anyway, I would have liked to see Holliday get a day or two off to break his slump. It's not going to do anything for his swing to try to hit while his arm is stiff or bruised. But I'd rather have a guy who wants to play when he's 80 percent than one who doesn't, I suppose.