PHILADELPHIA -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has declared Allen Craig, whose two-run, bases-loaded single on Saturday night helped lift his average to .220, close to breaking out. But Craig says he has never felt that far away.
"Have I felt great up there?" Craig said. "Probably not. But I haven't felt terrible.
"I have been hitting some balls hard, working pretty hard in the batting cage to make some adjustments. But I feel over the last week and a half, two weeks or so, I have just been missing pitches, hit some balls hard and they have been at people."
Craig went 2-for-5 on Sunday night, raising his average on the season to .234.
"I am going to swing at some pitches out of the zone even when I am going good," he said. "I just think it comes down it hitting the good pitches that they give you.
"Maybe I have been rolling over a little but I don't think that's the main problem. I feel like I have hit the ball pretty hard and haven't found holes. The numbers are what they are but that's why they call it a batting average, it goes up and down, and the first month, it can fluctuate rapidly."
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."
Family leaves Philly before Adams gets start
PHILADELPHIA -- Twenty members of Matt Adams' family didn't go away mad when they drove 3 1/2 hours from Philipsburg, Pa., Saturday and didn't get to see him play. Unfortunately, they had to go away, missing Adams' start Sunday night.
Matt Holliday received the night off and Allen Craig moved to left field to accommodate one of the twice-a-week starts that manager Mike Matheny has promised Adams, who is hitting .524 with three homers and eight RBIs.
"[Saturday] was Autism Awareness Night," Adams said. "They all came last night because my little cousin Sadie Burge is autistic.
"They saw me play in Pittsburgh [on Monday night]. I got to see everybody yesterday again and they'll be able to watch it on TV tonight, so it will be like they are here."
Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.