After a day off Thursday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had a chance to give a few of his regulars another break Friday, having opened an eight-run lead into the second inning.

But pointing to the adrenaline among his players with it being so close to playoff time, and mentioning that Thursday's off day may have been a reason to keep them on the field, Matheny waited. In hindsight, he might have waited a pitch too long.

In the sixth inning, after Washington manager Davey Johnson removed all but one of his position players, the Cardinals' Matt Holliday was plunked in the left elbow by a pitch. He left the game with a contusion and he's listed as day to day.

In the eighth inning, Matheny replaced catcher Yadier Molina and outfielder Carlos Beltran with Tony Cruz and Adron Chambers, respectively.

When asked about his decision of when to pull players, Matheny said, "It's a great question. Just kind of feeling through the situation. Especially with having an off day (Thursday), it didn't seem as urgent. But it became pretty obvious that when Matt got hit that it was time."