Molina injury overshadows Bucs whitewashing

Harrison knocked Molina out of the game

Catcher Yadier Molina was injured Tuesday night as St. Louis was spanked by Pittsburgh, 9-0.

INSIDE PITCH

 

Besides the Pittsburgh Pirates blasting the Cardinals 9-0 Tuesday night, the Cardinals lost catcher Yadier Molina when he was plowed into by Pittsburgh second baseman Josh Harrison in the second inning as Harrison tried unsuccessfully to score on a single to right field.

 

Molina suffered a strain to his upper back, left shoulder and neck after Harrison bowled him over, leading with his left shoulder and elbow. But no broken bones were found and no concussion either after Molina underwent X-rays and a SCAT-2 concussion test mandated by Major League Baseball.

 

But Molina said he nonetheless was sore, especially in the neck and head.

 

"I would love for him to slide, but this is baseball," Molina said. "It's one of those things that is going to happen."

 

Asked if it was a clean play by Harrison, Molina responded, "You tell me. I know it's part of baseball. I don't know if it was clean or not.

 

"I don't know if he had an opportunity to slide or not. I never saw the guy coming.

 

"I'll be OK, for sure, but I'm pretty sore right now. They did a bunch of tests. I was fine with the tests. There was no concussion. Just a really bad headache."

 

Tony Cruz finished the game behind the plate but for Wednesday night's series finale, catcher Bryan Anderson will be recalled from Class AAA Memphis, along with right-hander Trevor Rosenthal. Right-hander Brandon Dickson, who pitched three innings of mop-up Tuesday, and infielder Ryan Jackson will be returned to Memphis.

 

NOTES, QUOTES

RHP Jake Westbrook (13-10), in the course of suffering his fourth loss in five decisions to the Pirates this year and seventh in eight decisions in his career, took what he might have deemed appropriate action when he hit 2B Josh Harrison in the upper left leg with a pitch in the fifth inning after Harrison had bowled over Cardinals C Yadier Molina in the second. Westbrook, offering up nothing, said, "I was very erratic the entire game. I was all over the place. That's two ballgames in a row I haven't pitched very well. I've got to figure some things out, which I'm going to do. (The Pirates) seem to have my number. And not pitching very well seems to compound that."

On the play on which C Yadier Molina suffered strains to several parts of his upper body Tuesday night, RF Carlos Beltran's throw home drifted toward Pittsburgh 2B Josh Harrison coming down from third. Molina made a short-hop pickup but had little time to brace himself for Harrison's forceful arrival. Manager Mike Matheny, whose own catching career was cut short by a series of concussions, said, "What a great play, taking that short hop. He's legitimately the toughest player in this league. It's just a shame that he's down." Asked if the play was legitimate, Matheny said, "What do you mean by legitimate? Everybody has the option to slide. (Harrison) had an option to slide and he didn't."

RHP Chris Carpenter, who was thought to be done for this season, might not be. In between treatments and then surgery for a nerve condition that affected his right shoulder, Carpenter has thrown countless bullpen sessions. Just more than a month after his thoracic outlet syndrome procedure, Carpenter threw 40 pitches in the bullpen on Tuesday. Asked afterward if he would be able pitch before the season ended, Carpenter said, significantly, "I don't know. Let's see what happens."

RF Carlos Beltran, 2 for 19 on the trip and without an RBI since Aug. 19, when the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates played 19 innings, said his long bothersome left hand is not the reason for his recent tumble. "I don't feel right right now," he said. "I feel lost a little bit. But not a big deal. It will change."

2B Skip Schumaker, who had started at second base behind sinkerballer Jake Westbrook only once since May 14, was in the lineup and hitting second on the strength of his 8-for-15 showing in the first four games of the Cardinals' trip. But he went 0-for-4 Tuesday.

3B David Freese, out with a left wrist bruise, returned at third base and hit seventh. Rookie INF Matt Carpenter, who didn't start on Tuesday, had five hits and was on base six times during the three games he replaced Freese at third. "You never want to be satisfied with being a bench player, but at the same time you've got to accept your role and do whatever's best for the team," said Carpenter. "The goal of a bench player is that when you get your starts, the team goes on like it would if whoever you're playing for would be in there. I feel like I've done a decent job of that."

By the Numbers:

1-7 - RHP Jake Westbrook's career record against Pittsburgh, including 1-4 this season.

Quote to Note:

"We can sit around and twiddle our thumbs or we can see what's going on. I'm willing to see what's going on."

- RHP Chris Carpenter, throwing again after surgery to alleviate a nerve problem affecting his right shoulder.

MEDICAL WATCH

C Yadier Molina (strained upper back, left shoulder and neck) was injured in a home-plate collision Aug. 28. Concussion tests were negative.

3B David Freese (bruised left wrist) was hit by a pitch Aug. 24, and he didn't play Aug. 25-27. He returned to the lineup Aug. 28.

1B Lance Berkman (right knee inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3. He began a rehab assignment with Class AAA Memphis on Aug. 24, and he is expected to be activated Sept. 1.

RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. He underwent surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.

Link to boxscore: Pittsburgh 9, St. Louis 0

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