“You need to trust your teammates,” Yadier Molina said afterwards. Because he obviously didn’t trust himself.
The Cardinals were down 3-2 in the top of the ninth Wednesday against the Padres. Allen Craig opened the frame with a double off Luke Gregerson, putting the tying run in what most of us consider scoring position. The Cardinals pinch-ran with Adron Chambers to make it even more likely that a hit would score a run. Molina decided it wasn’t position enough, so the league’s fourth leading hitter dropped down a sacrifice bunt.
Such a decision would have been defensible if the game was tied. Or it would have been defensible if the Cardinals were down 3-2 at home instead. Maybe it even would have been defensible with a .215 hitter at the plate, though I still would have been strongly against it then.
As is, the decision was indefensible. It was ridiculous. It was a case of Yadier Molina — a four-time All-Star, a two-time world champion and one of the NL’s 10-best players this year — flat-out choking.
Of course, the decision didn’t work out. And I wouldn’t be writing this if it had. But regardless of how it played out, it was a boneheaded move. Playing for the tie on the road is foolish. If Molina’s bunt incrementally increased the chances of the Cards going to the bottom of the ninth even, it also upped the likelihood that the team would lose a 15-inning game at Petco and burn out its bullpen ahead of a huge four-game series against the Dodgers that starts Thursday.
One would think a guy with a neck tattoo would know a bit more about going for the jugular.
No, the catcher who signed a $75 million contract earlier this year passed the buck on to a guy making $508,000. David Freese grounded out for the second out of the ninth with Chambers holding at third. After Carlos Beltran walked, Skip Schumaker grounded out to end it. It was an opportunity lost for the Cardinals, as they were swept in a three-game series in San Diego.
Look, it’s a long season. I don’t think Molina made his decision because he was scared. But he wasn’t mentally where he needed to be tonight. I know it’s tough for the Cardinals to give him much of a breather this time of year, but he seems to require one.
PITTSBURGH — Right-hander Tyler Glasnow has been recalled from Class AAA Indianapolis and will make his second major league start Saturday when he faces the Philadelphia Phillies.
Glasnow lost to the Cardinals at St. Louis on July 7, allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings. He was 7-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 18 starts with Indianapolis.
Catcher Elias Diaz was also recalled from Indianapolis while right-handed reliever AJ Schugel was optioned to the same club. Catcher Eric Fryer was placed on the paternity list after his wife gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl – on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Diaz underwent arthroscopic right elbow surgery May 3 after being injured in spring training. He has played in a combined 12 games at three minor leagues, hitting .341, after making his major league debut with the Pirates last September.
ST. LOUIS — Matt Adams homered in the 16th inning to lead the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night for St. Louis’ season-best fifth straight victory.
It was the second consecutive game that the Cardinals won in their final at-bat. They beat the Padres on Thursday after scoring a run in the ninth inning.
Adams homer came with one out off Bud Norris (5-9), who gave up six runs as a starter in an 8-1 loss at Washington on Wednesday.
Seth Maness (1-2) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief for St. Louis, which was playing its longest game of the season.
Jedd Gyorko hit a two-out homer off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth to tie the game 3-3.
Justin Turner and Howie Kendrick homered for the Dodgers. Los Angeles has lost four of six. The red-hot Turner has seven homers and 17 RBI this month. He hit two homers in a 6-3 win over Washington on Thursday.
Turner blasted his career-high 18th homer of the season off Seung Hwan Oh in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie.
Corey Seager had four hits and drove in the first run of the game. He had hit in seven successive at-bats before flying out in the ninth.
Kendrick’s solo shot in the sixth tied the game 2-2. He has hit in 14 successive games trying Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the longest current streak in the majors.
Los Angeles starter Brandon McCarthy allowed one hit and two runs over 6 1-3 innings, the longest of his four starts this season. He left with leg cramps. McCarthy struck out four and walked three.
St. Louis starter Michael Wacha allowed two runs on 10 hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked one.
Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore recorded his 28th successive scoreless outing by retiring two of four batters in the seventh. He has not allowed a run in 41 of 42 appearances this season.