9/23/2013 1:19 A.M. ET
Rotation to stay in order for upcoming Nats series
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals will continue with their rotation order unchanged for their upcoming series against Washington. How the club slots in its starting pitchers for its final series of the season next weekend, however, depend on its positioning within the division.
As it is set now, ace Adam Wainwright will start against the Nationals on Monday. His rotation spot would then come up next on Sunday, the final game of the regular season. But pitching Wainwright on Sunday would preclude the right-hander from being able to pitch in the first game of the postseason -- whether that be a Division Series or Wild Card game.
Manager Mike Matheny said it is "too early" to speculate on how the team could alter its pitching plans to set up for the postseason. If the Cardinals have the division won before next Sunday, it's unlikely the Cardinals would send Wainwright out to the mound that day.
The Cardinals will have added flexibility, too, because of Thursday's off-day. That would allow them to actually pitch Wainwright on normal rest Saturday, if the team knew it would not need him for a Tuesday Wild Card game. The club was intentional about structuring the rotation so that Wainwright would be available to pitch on the final day of the year should the Cardinals be in a situation where they need a win that day.
Holliday scratched late from Cards' lineup
MILWAUKEE -- Matt Holliday was a late scratch from the Cardinals' lineup on Sunday due to back spasms. Initially slated to bat third and start in left field, Holliday was replaced by Shane Robinson after his back did not loosen up enough while taking pregame swings.
"We're just not going to take a chance," manager Mike Matheny said. "It's one of those days where we're just not going to push him."
Matheny hoped to have Holliday available off the bench, but was ultimately hesitant because Holliday "didn't have a lot of relief as the game went on." Holliday said he received treatment throughout the game but that he did not take any additional swings. His status for Monday's game was unclear.
Holliday had started all 55 of the team's games since coming off the disabled list on July 27. He hit .343 with a .429 on-base percentage and drove in 44 runs during that stretch. He's been especially locked in on this road trip, going 13-for-26 in these six road games. His 41 RBIs since the start of August ranks second in the National League behind only Hunter Pence, and his season batting average (now .298) is at its highest point of the season.
• The Cardinals open a three-game series against the Nationals on Monday and are scheduled to face the following three Washington starters: Tanner Roark (7-0, 1.08 ERA) on Monday, Gio Gonzalez (11-7, 3.39 ERA) on Tuesday and Jordan Zimmermann (19-8, 3.18 ERA) on Wednesday.
• With his third-inning home run on Sunday, Matt Carpenter crept closer to the 200-hit mark. It was his league-high 195th hit this season, and he is trying to become the first Cardinals player since Albert Pujols in 2003 to collect 200.
• After his 2-for-4 night on Saturday, Matt Adams improved his average against the Brewers this season to .412. Of his 14 hits, five have been home runs. He's also driven in 10. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Adams is the first Cardinals rookie since 1936 to hit at or above .400 with at least five homers and 10 RBIs against one team. Johnny Mize batted .449 with five homers and 21 RBIs back in 1936.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.