Clayton Kershaw sticks up for Hanley Ramirez by plunking Matt Holliday

Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch during the 4th inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday night. As you might remember, Ramirez was hit by Cards starting pitcher Joe Kelly in the first game of the NLCS last year and suffered a broken rib. Clayton Kershaw had finally seen enough.

With LA leading 3-1, runners on first and third and two out, Ramirez was drilled in the shoulder by a fastball from Carlos Martinez that was thrown in a very dangerous area.

Kershaw plunked Matt Holliday in the backside with his first pitch in the next half inning.

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Matt Holliday assists on Andrew McCutchen home run

Matt Holliday is one of the top hitters in baseball, but he is also known for creating several fielding bloopers during his career. The St. Louis Cardinals outfielder added to his collection of defensive miscues with an embarrassing play on Tuesday.

Matt Holliday Andrew McCutchenPittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen took a pitch from Cardinals pitcher Tyler Lyons deep to left in the fifth inning of the second game of a double-header between the teams. Holliday went running back to try making the catch at the short wall at PNC Park, but the ball went off the heel of his glove and over the wall for a 2-run home run.

Of course, the reaction from the crazed Pirates fan who taunted Holliday has been getting a lot of attention on the Internet — rightfully so — but this is just embarrassing from Holliday.

Recall that Holliday whiffed on a ball that hit him in the groin in the 2009 playoffs, and then he made an error against the Giants in the playoffs last year. Someone needs to get him back in the AL so he can DH and not worry about the field.

Matt Holliday wants two strikes and you’re out PED penalties

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday feels that the current penalties for performance-enhancing drug users are not deterring players from cheating, therefore harsher penalties are needed to help clean up the game.

Holliday appeared on MLB Network Radio’s “Inside Pitch” with Casey Stern and Jim Bowden Wednesday, the day after several top MLB players were implicated in an alleged drug scandal.

“I’d go first time (you get caught) you miss a full season, 162 games you’re out,” Holliday said, via The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “And then the second time I think you are suspended for a lifetime with the eligibility after two years maybe to apply for reinstatement. That’s what I would do. I feel like that’s pretty harsh but I think that’s what we need. I think we need harsher penalties. I think that would be a good start.”

Holliday said he was surprised that so many players risk getting caught despite the current suspensions in place.

“… I thought (a 50-game suspension) was pretty harsh,” Holliday continued. “I thought that might be enough with 50 and then, I think it was, 100. But it clearly is not enough. There are guys getting caught and there’s a paper trail and all this stuff going on now. It’s clearly not enough to deter guys from trying to find ways around it, trying to find ways to beat the system or whatever they’re doing. So I’m all for making it harder.”

The current penalty for a positive test or proof of PED possession is 50 games for a first-time offense, 100 games for a second, and a lifetime ban for a third.

Holliday used Melky Cabrera as an example of players having a lot to gain from using drugs.

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Matt Holliday wishes Marco Scutaro well before Game 3 (Video)

Matt Holliday went out of his way to wish Marco Scutaro well before the Giants and Cardinals played Game 3 of the NLCS, ending what appeared to be some bad blood over a harsh takeout slide in Game 2.

Holliday slid well beyond second base on Monday in an attempt to take out the Giants second baseman and prevent a double play. Scutaro stayed in the game long enough to get a clutch hit, but he exited with a hip injury.

The Giants were pretty heated about the slide, though Scutaro and manager Bruce Bochy recognized Holliday had no intent to injure. Pitcher Matt Cain indicated before Game 3 that he might throw at Holliday in retaliation, but that never happened. Maybe that’s because the St. Louis left fielder went out of his way to reconcile before the game.

“Play good,” Holliday could be seen telling Scutaro before the game.

Holliday also said “my bad,” in reference to the slide, and gave the Giants second baseman thumbs up.

Scutaro batted second and went 2-for-5 in a 3-1 loss while Holliday went 0-for-4. St. Louis leads the series 2-1. I think we can consider this issue over.

Matt Cain indicates he may throw at or near Matt Holliday

Matt Holliday has become a hot topic of discussion during the NLCS after his take-out slide of Giants shortstop Marco Scutaro in Game 2 on Monday while breaking up a double-play. While he remained in the base path, the slide was certainly very late and began well after Holliday reached the bag. Scutaro suffered a strained hip on the play and is battling a sore right knee, so it is unclear whether or not he’ll be able to play in Game 3.

Though Holliday has apologized and said he in no way intended to hurt Scutaro, there has naturally been speculation that San Francisco will retaliate on Wednesday night. When asked if he will plunk Holliday, Giants starting pitching Matt Cain didn’t exactly give a firm denial.

“You’ve got to go out there and pitch your game,” Cain said according to FOX Sports. “If something gets away from me inside, that’s kind of part of the game. You can’t have a fear of doing that.”

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Matt Holliday error on Marco Scutaro hit gives Giants extra run; karma for slide?

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday misplayed a ball in left center during Game 2 of the NLCS on Monday night, leading to an extra run for the Giants.

Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro laced a line drive to the left-center gap with the bases load in the bottom of the fourth. The hit would have scored two runs, but Holliday let the ball go through his legs allowing Angel Pagan to score the third run on the play.

The error by Holliday allowed the Giants to go up 5-1.

Some people considered Holliday’s fielding error to be karma for the left fielder’s hard slide into second base in the first inning that took out Scutaro.

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Matt Holliday Calls into Radio Show to Dispute Host’s Claim that He’s Injury Prone

Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday called into St. Louis radio station KFNS Monday to dispute one of the host’s claim that he’s injury prone.

Holliday missed 38 regular-season games last season and four more during the playoffs. He battled finger, quad and wrist injuries, and also had an appendectomy in April. He even had to leave a game early when a moth flew into his ear.

Prior to the injury-filled season, Holliday played in at least 155 games four of the five previous seasons. That’s why he called into The Press Box to defend his reputation.

Here is the audio where Holliday respectfully challenges the host, leaving him lost for words like Ed Rooney:

I wouldn’t consider Holliday a model of health like, say, Prince Fielder, who has only missed one game the past three years, but calling him injury prone seems inaccurate.

“I think sometimes those things get thrown around a little too loosely based upon maybe their recent memory of me being a little nicked-up the last month of the season,” Holliday said. “But to say I’m injury prone or get hurt all the time, I think is out of line.”

The host admitted he was wrong and apologized for his poor characterization. The ironic part is that the player the host wanted the Cardinals to add, Carlos Beltran, has missed 199 games over the past three regular seasons because of injuries.

Hey, at least we can always count on pundits to do their preparation before speaking, right?