We’ll get to Carlos Beltran’s big night in a minute. We’ll need to talk about Jake Westbrook’s gem too. It was a solid win for the Cardinals, but before we go there …
Everyone breathe. Yadi’s going to be okay.
In case you didn’t hear, Yadier Molina was hit on the left wrist on a 96 mph fastball from Mitchell Boggs in the ninth inning last night. He was hit just above the glove, close to the same place he was hit in 2007. It was scary, and for a moment I thought my headline was going to have to be something like, “Oh no, not Yadi Mo!” (as was suggested on Twitter!)
Here’s how Jenifer Langosch recounted what happened when Molina left the field.
Upon exiting the field, Molina was immediately ushered into a trainer’s room, where he had X-rays taken. The D-backs’ team physician read them first and did not find evidence of a break. The X-rays will be further examined to make sure that there really is no concern of a fracture.
“He’s going to be tender for a while,” manager Mike Matheny said. “We’ll probably have to get a couple more looks at it.”
Just swelling and soreness. I can deal with that. Yadi even said it was getting better and better by the minute. I hope he’s right. While he likely won’t play today, he’s hoping he won’t be kept out of the lineup for long.
So are we! Feel better soon, Yadi!
Okay. Now to the real action. It was all about Beltran’s offense and Westbrook’s gem in the 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks in the second game of the series.
Offensively, it all happened in a hurry.
After Jon Jay led off with a triple, Beltran stepped in. He saw just two pitches from Ian Kennedy that time around — the second, a 77 mph curve that caught entirely too much of the plate. Then, it caught a lot of air and landed on the track above the first level of seats. It was way gone. And the Redbirds were up 2-0 early.
Three ground-ball outs got Westbrook through the first unscathed, despite a single and a walk.
Then, in the second inning it was a Skip Schumaker single, a Westbrook walk and a Jay hit-by-pitch that loaded the bases up for hot-hitting Beltran. No opportunity missed here! See both bombs here.
It’s not the first time (not even first this season!) that Beltran has left the yard more than once in a game. It seems the health concerns at the start of the season are gone, at least for now.
“Health is everything,” said Beltran, who has endured repeated knee concerns in recent years. “Without health there is no way I can go out there, perform and do well. Health is the key. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel any pain. I feel good coming to the ballpark. In the past I woke up, your knee hurts. It’s a grind. Now I’m just happy. I’m blessed. I’m having a great time. We have a great team. You can’t ask for more than that.”
If you’re keeping track, that’s now 10 homers, 26 RBI, and 23 runs scored for Beltran. Only Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp have more home runs, and Carlos makes the top five in the majors in RBI and runs scored.
Not bad for an old guy, eh?!
Those early runs were fortunate, though, because Kennedy would then settle down and allow only one more hit, sitting the Redbirds down in order after the third inning.
Speaking of good pitching, what a night for Westbrook! Jake threw 115 pitches, going seven scoreless, giving up just four hits and two walks, striking out eight. He got good help from his defense with plays like this one from Daniel Descalso, playing short stop. Nicely done, my man!
It was a night to remember for Westbrook who said he felt the best he had all year. And he wasn’t the only one who noticed.
“You could see the movement on the ball from the side,” manager Mike Matheny said. “You knew right from the start with his infield support that his stuff was working right. He seemed to get better as he went along, too.”
It was Kyle McClellan who came in to pitch a one-two-three eighth, making the Cards’ 6-0 lead look pretty promising.
Of course, it wasn’t that simple. But despite Mitchell Boggs giving up a single run, there were no shenanigans like Monday’s game to let things get close. Boggs struck out three of the final four Diamondbacks to give the Cardinals another series win.
Long balls are flying this series, and it’ll be the Cardinals trying once agian to complete the sweep in the desert. It’s Kyle Lohse going for win No. 5 against Wade Miley who is 3-0 on the year. First pitch is at 8:40 p.m. Central Time. (And boy, will I be glad when this trip out West — and these late, late starts! — is over!)
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.