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Holliday given night off to insert Adams in lineup

PHILADELPHIA -- You can't have too many horses, says manager Mike Matheny, who didn't need any wild ones to drag Matt Holliday out of the lineup Sunday night so that Matt Adams, hitting .524 with three home runs and eight RBIs, could get his second start of the week.

"When I told [Holliday] his reply was, "I feel great, I want to play,'" Matheny said. "I said, 'Sit with me for a second and let's talk about this club. Tell me what you see.' He said, 'No, I get it.' I have always heard those words from every single [Cardinals regular], so I don't know if they all sat down together and said 'I get it' because they do."

Holliday has played 155 games or more in five of his eight full Major League seasons.

"Holliday loves the day-in, day-out grind of this game more than most guys," Matheny said. "He prepares himself physically as well as anyone in the game, and part of that is so that he can answer the call every day.

"He loves the challenge of that and I know this is hard for him. I have to figure it out. It can't just be Carlos [Beltran] getting the day off all the time when his body looks good, and it can't be Allen Craig [on Sunday night] when he is real close to getting on his stride. You just got to do what you got to do sometimes. It's not fair to let Matt Adams rot."

Jay Greenberg is a contributor to
Read More: St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Adams, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig