Matt Holliday was back in the lineup for Game 7 of the NL championship series for the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, a day after being a late scratch with tightness in his lower back.
Holliday was slated to hit third against Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants in the winner-take-all game for a trip to the World Series.
"They've been working on him nonstop," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He feels much better and we're confident that he's not just going to be out there, but be able to be productive."
Holliday is just 4 for 21 with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in the series. He is hitting .222 with one homer and seven RBIs in 45 at-bats this post-season. Holliday missed Game 7 of the World Series a year ago with a wrist injury.
With Holliday starting, Matt Carpenter began the game on the bench despite being 5 for 6 with one homer and four RBIs in his career against Cain, including a homer in Game 3 in place of Carlos Beltran.
"Not a lot of places you can put him in the lineup," Matheny said. "We've done this all season. He's been a great fill for whatever we need. But you started looking at him playing in the outfield in the corners and you've got Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran, and Allen Craig and David Freese on the corners in the infield. Those are guys that have all been valuable parts of our lineup.
"We don't deny what Matt's been able to do against Cain, but if anything does happen with any of our guys along the way, we've got a good option."