The St. Louis Cardinals are tied for the N.L. Central lead with the Pittsburgh Pirates as play begins on July 14, the final day before the All-Star break. Two of their starters are nursing minor injuries, and one pitcher has a decision to make. Here is the latest update on Adam Wainwright, Matt Holliday, and Yadier Molina according to MLB.com's Brian Hedger.
There is no injury problem with starting pitcher Adam Wainwright. He simply has a decision to make about pitching in Tuesday night's All-Star game. Wainwright is the scheduled starter in Sunday night's game against the division rival Chicago Cubs. This means that he will have to choose one of two options after pitching Sunday: 1) he pitches a maximum of one inning in the All-Star game. 2) he does not pitch in the game but still attends All-Star activities.
Of course, his first loyalty is to the Cardinals, so he must first try to win Sunday night. After that, he will make his decision. Wainwright has shown class so far in the process, indicating that he could allow another pitcher to have his All-Star roster spot. Said Wainwright,
"I would only be allowed to pitch one inning anyway, so I'd rather see another deserving person make the team that's not on the team."
Wainwright is 12-5 with a 2.30 ERA -- and a WAR of 4.9 -- in 19 starts. He deserves to play in the All-Star game as much as anyone else.
Outfielder Matt Holliday has missed Friday and Saturday's games in the Cubs series due to right hamstring tightness, and he will not play Sunday night either. He is listed as day-to-day, but the good news is that he has four days off over the All-Star break to continue healing. Holliday left Thursday night's game after two at bats, and Matt Adams has played for him since then. If he cannot heal over the break, Holliday could find himself on the disabled list retroactive to July 11.
Holliday is hitting .268/.351/.448 with 13 HR and 14 RBI. Adams has had a fine season himself at .315/.370/.551, 7 HR, and 25 RBI in 127 at bats.
Catcher Yaider Molina, a candidate for N.L. MVP, is still nursing a sore knee although that has not kept him completely out of the lineup. He had two days off just before the Cubs series and pinch hit in Saturday's game. Milona is the N.L.'s starting catcher in the All-Star game, but it is undetermined at this time if he will play Sunday night or rest his knee going into the break. Since the Cardinals/Cubs game begins at 8:05, manager Mike Matheny has a few extra hours to decide.
Meanwhile, Tony Cruz has filled in nicely while Molina has rested. Cruz is 2 for 5 with an RBI in his last two starts.
The Cardinals and Pirates both have a record of 56-36, also the N.L's best record. They will meet each other in Pittsburgh for a five-game series from July 29-August 1. This includes a double-header on July 30.
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