Holliday out of lineup due to back tightness

Jenifer Langosch/MLB.com

Concerned by how Matt Holliday was compensating for lower back pain while taking his batting practice swings on Sunday, manager Mike Matheny, against his left fielder’s wishes, made a late lineup change for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

Holliday was removed from the lineup, opening a spot for Matt Carpenter to be added. Carpenter will hit second and play first base. Allen Craig shifts to left field in place of Holliday. Carlos Beltran moves down one spot in the batting order to hit third.

“It’s been bothering him for a while and we talked today and he said it felt better,” Matheny said. “He’s adamant that he can play, but I was watching him take BP and he’s really having a hard time finishing [his swing].”

Holliday has fought back tightness throughout the season, though none of the episodes were serious enough to keep the veteran outfielder off the field long. He missed two games in June due to back spasms and sat again on Sept. 5 with lower back pain. Holliday played in 157 of the team’s 162 regular-season games.

“He’s fighting me saying that he wants to play, and he’s not very happy with me right now,” Matheny said about an hour before the scheduled first pitch. “I noticed in the last game that he was having so much trouble staying through the ball and staying on it. That was my concern going into today.”

Holliday left the field after batting practice and headed to the trainer’s room to receive treatment. Matheny said he does expect Holliday to be available off the bench for Sunday’s game. Holliday is hitting .222 in 11 postseason games this month. He drove home two runs in the team’s Game 4 win over San Francisco.

Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB

1 Comment

Wow tough call for Mike M. I think it makes us better on defense but not so sure taking the number 3 hitter out of the order is the right call.

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