- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2011

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Matt Holliday thought he’d be ready to go in Game 7 of the World Series. Just got his right pinkie stepped on during Thursday’s game at Busch Stadium.

A restless, painful night changed that thinking. The Cardinals took their cleanup hitter off the roster with a bruised right wrist, an injury manager Tony La Russa said was significant enough to land Holliday on the 15-day disabled list if it was the regular season.

“As the night went on my wrist started bothering me pretty bad to the point where I couldn’t sleep,” Holliday said Friday. “As the night went on I thought ‘Wow, maybe the adrenaline wore off.’”

Holliday said doctors found “pretty substantial inflammation” in the wrist and one told him he would need three weeks to recover.

“It’s frustrating. This is something you look forward to,” Holliday said. “But this is a team game. It’s not about me.”

It’s the final setback of an injury-plagued season. Holliday was on the DL twice with an appendectomy and quadriceps injury. He had to leave a game in August when a moth got stuck in his ear and injured a tendon on his right middle finger late in the year.

“It would be nice to kind of get it all out of the way and hopefully have a clean year next year,” Holliday said. “Every time I felt like I was getting close to 100 percent, something else has come up.”

Holliday struggled to regain his stroke in the postseason, and the Cardinals also have used Lance Berkman and David Freese in the cleanup spot. He was 3 for 19 with no RBIs in the World Series and batted .294 overall with a homer and five RBIs.

Holliday was injured when he was picked off third base in the sixth inning. 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.

“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?” La Russa said.

“It’s pinch running,” La Russa said. “You can’t put him out there _ he can’t swing the bat.”

The five-time All-Star reached on a throwing error in the sixth inning Thursday. He advanced to third after walks to 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.

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 postseason.

“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

“Tough decision.”


AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta contributed to this report.

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