Yadier Molina was forced to exit Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants last night due to an oblique injury, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny confirmed this afternoon that he will remain on the team’s roster.
According to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, Matheny said that he was surprised at how good Molina looked while playing catch today. The veteran backstop is not ready to swing a bat yet, so he’s falling into the vague category of “day-to-day” right now. Matheny didn’t rule out the possibility of using Molina for late-inning defense as soon as tomorrow.
It’s no surprise that the Cardinals would resist replacing Molina on the roster for the remainder of the NLCS, as it would make him ineligible to play if the team advances to the World Series. Oblique injuries are very tricky and often sideline players for several weeks, but the Cardinals are holding out hope for some rapid progress.
No official word yet on who will start behind the plate tomorrow, Matheny indicated that A.J. Pierzynski could get the call.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.