Yadier Molina has remained on the Cardinals’ postseason roster despite suffering a strained left oblique in Game 2 of the NLCS — an injury that often takes over three weeks to recover from. But it doesn’t sound like we’ll be seeing him in St. Louis’ starting lineup for the remainder of this series.
Molina tried swinging a bat before NLCS Game 4 on Wednesday in San Francisco, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the All-Star catcher did not feel good during the workout. Matheny added that they were merely “preliminary swings — just enough to realize it wasn’t worth pushing forward.”
Molina was stretching out in the bullpen Tuesday near the end of the Cardinals’ Game 3 loss to the Giants and may be asked to catch for Trevor Rosenthal or Carlos Martinez in a high-leverage situation because he works so well with those young flamethrowers. But it’ll be A.J. Pierzynski starting behind the plate on Wednesday night. Tony Cruz is also available off the bench for the Cards, who are down 2-1 in the best-of-seven.
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.