The Cardinals surely have their fingers crossed right now, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Yadier Molina is out of tonight’s lineup against the Rockies due to a sprained right thumb and is scheduled to undergo X-rays when the team returns home to St. Louis tomorrow.
Molina injured the thumb in an awkward slide into first base last night. He’s currently dealing with some swelling, which is naturally making it difficult for him to throw or hit. More should be known following the examination tomorrow.
Molina took a huge leap forward offensively last year and he has been even better this year, batting .310/.359/.506 with 16 home runs, 52 RBI and an .856 OPS in 91 games played. The 30-year-old backstop has also thrown out 44 percent of attempted basestealers (20-for-45), which leads all major league catchers. An extended absence would be a tough blow for the Cards, who enter play tonight 7 1/2 games behind the Reds in the National League Central and three games back in the Wild Card race.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.