The Cove
Deep coverage of the Giants

Matt Holliday Out Sunday Night for Cards

Matt Holliday was ruled out of Sunday night's Game 6 of the NLCS with a stiff back

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    It's do or die for the Giants on Sunday night, as they face the Cardinals in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series with their season on the line.

    Here's a bit of good news if you're a Giants fan, then: Matt Holliday is out of the lineup.

    The Cardinals announced that Holliday was out for Sunday night's game about 3:45 p.m. PT, citing lower-back stiffness as the reason for their slugger missing the game.

    In his place, Allen Craig will play left field for St. Louis. Additionally, Carlos Beltran will move from second to third in the Cardinals lineup and Matt Carpenter will play first base and hit second.

    The Giants previously caught a "break" in this series when Beltran was ruled out -- Carpenter took his place in the lineup and very quickly hit a two-run jack off of Matt Cain.

    Which is to say ... while Holliday being out is good for the Giants, if we've learned anything about these playoff zombie Cardinals, it's that the guys you least expect will be the ones who kill you.

    The reality is, Holliday hasn't been hitting all that well in the NLCS anyway. He's batting .190/.190/.381 with no homers, four strikeouts and two RBI in 21 at bats.

    Craig hasn't been spectacular either, though. He's batting .125/.211/.398 with one double, no homers, four strikeouts and a walk.

    But as Mike Matheny said earlier Sunday, you can throw out all the stats for a game like Sunday night's. St. Louis could plug a literal bird in the lineup for Holliday and it'd still be scary given the way this team's played in the postseason the last two years.