ST. LOUIS — Matt Holliday will miss Game 7 of the World Series, leaving the St. Louis Cardinals without one of their top hitters for the final game of the season.
The outfielder sprained his right wrist when he was picked off third base in the sixth inning Thursday night. The Cardinals went on to a dramatic 10-9, 11-inning victory over the Texas Rangers to force the first winner-take-all game in the World Series since 2002.
Rookie outfielder Adron Chambers replaced Holliday on the active roster Friday.
“Well, it’s difficult when you have to bang one of your core guys, but in a situation like this, you know, the evaluation is: What can he provide to you if he plays?” manager Tony La Russa said.
“It’s pinch running,” La Russa said. “You can’t put him out there — he can’t swing the bat.”
Holliday was just 3 for 19 against the Rangers, but he batted .435 with a homer and five RBIs in their NL championship series victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The five-time all-star reached on a throwing error in the sixth inning Thursday. He advanced to third after walks to David Freese and Yadier Molina, but wandered too far down the line after a pitch to Nick Punto, and Rangers catcher Mike Napoli rose from his crouch and fired to third.
Holliday dived back to the bag, but Adrian Beltre had his foot blocking his path, and Holliday’s wrist bent at an awkward angle.
He was eventually removed from the game, and the Cardinals initially said he hurt the small finger on his right hand. X-rays came back negative. The team then announced Friday afternoon that Holliday actually sprained his wrist and would be unavailable.
Major League Baseball must approve roster moves during the series, and the commissioner’s office released a statement saying, “MLB Postseason rules provide that injured players can be replaced during the World Series if the severity of the injury, as determined by Major League Baseball, is such that it would require a disabled list assignment during the regular season.”
The speedy Chambers likely will be used as a pinch runner.
He spent most of the season at triple-A Memphis, and had just eight at-bats in 18 games with St. Louis during the regular season. He’s a combined 1 for 5 this post-season.
“The effect is that’s one of our middle guys, especially against a left-handed pitcher,” La Russa said of playing without Holliday. “He’d be hitting fifth today. It kind of shortens our lineup.