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Matt Holliday leaves game with right quad strain

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In the first inning of Wednesday night's game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium, Matt Holliday dug into the batter's box. Matt Carpenter, who had worked a walk, led off first. Holliday hit a tapper that third baseman Todd Frazier fielded and tossed to second base, retiring Carpenter. But Carpenter did not go down with a slide, obstructing Brandon Phillips's throw enough to allow Holliday to reach first safely—if he had made it to the bag. Holliday pulled up lame while attempting to beat out the relay throw of the potential double play and never touched first base. After the strange turning of two the resulted, Holliday was on the ground in the home dugout in obvious pain.

Manager Mike Matheny removed Holliday from the game, shifting starting first baseman Stephen Piscotty to left field and bringing Mark Reynolds into the game to man first. Later in the game the Cardinals made official what we all feared: Holliday had suffered a right quad strain.

This is of course the second right quad tear of Holliday's 2015 season. On June 8, Cardinals' left fielder strained his right quad while tracking a fly ball. The left fielder hit the disabled list effective June 9. The Cardinals activated him roughly five weeks later, on July 17. Since then, Holliday has been playing at something less than 100%, under orders not to go all out in the field or on the base paths.

In St. Louis Post-Dispatch beat writer Derrick Goold's Chat To Be Named Later on Tuesday, he fielded a question regarding Holliday's mobility. Goold indicated that the left fielder was nearing all-out form. Here's the reader question:

So how much longer will I have to cringe watching Holliday field a ball or run the bases? When will he be able to go full throttle w/o fear of re-injury?

And Goold's answer:

Coming week or so. Already moving better.

So close yet so far.

Wednesday night's reaggravation showed the risk in bringing a player back under instructions not to give 100% effort during games. There are plays—like a softly hit grounder that might result in a double play—where giving less than all-out effort can be difficult if not impossible for a ballplayer ingrained to go all out. Holliday succumbed to his baser baseballing instincts and his quad is torn once again as a result.

Now we wait to see how serious this re-tear of his right quad is.

Postgame Update: