Last time, on “The Cardinals Make Another August Run …”
The Redbirds took the field behind newly re-signed Jake Westbrook to attempt to seal the series victory in game two against the Pirates.
It didn’t go quite as planned, when Westie struggled in the first, giving up a walk and a single, then striking out Andrew McCutchen only to surrender a sacrifice fly that put the Pirates on the board first.
Still, it was only one run.
But there was plenty of drama to come in the next inning.
After a lead-off single and a sac bunt, Josh Harrison was at second base. A single from Jose Tabata dropped just in front of Carlos Beltran in shallow right field, who picked it up quickly and launched it back to the plate where everyone’s-favorite-Molina was ready and waiting.
The catch, the turn, the collision … it all happened fast. What didn’t happen fast was Yadi getting up. Or, at least, attempting to get up.
See, Harrison’s shoulder/forearm/elbow slammed into Molina’s head, ahead of the rest of the full-on crash. The announcers on all three platforms (Fox Sports Midwest, KMOX Radio and Root Sports) called it a clean hit.
For what it’s worth, catcher-to-catcher, so did Casey Rasmus.
Clean or not, Yadi was down for the count and Cardinal Nation collectively sighed … or cried. You pick.
It would have been far less painful, at least in the moment, had the Redbirds come back with a vengeance and knocked James McDonald out of the game (… not literally knocked him, but you know what I mean) on the way to a 12-1 blowout.
Too bad McDonald had the Cardinals’ number all night. Five hits, no runs. Not even after loading the bases in the 8th. Same song, different verse, eh?
Westbrook gave up 7 runs on 11 hits (four after a retaliatory hit-by-pitch of Harrison to load the bases in the fifth), and then Brandon Dickson came in and gave up the second home run of the night to newly deemed “Cardinal Killer” Pedro Alvarez.
No, a 9-0 loss wasn’t quite the statement fans were hoping for.
Also, Bryan Anderson was removed from the Memphis game in the 8th inning, setting the already-spiraling Twitterverse into a full-on tail spin.
Though the Cardinals lost the game, the greater reality was potentially losing Yadi. So, the reports of a back/neck/shoulder injury and the tweets claiming he passed the concussion tests spread quickly. And the panic turned to predictions — some hopeful, some not so much. Only time will tell how much Tony Cruz will play, or if Bryan Anderson becomes necessary. Or, if Yadi decides to call his own shots and play today, going, say, 4-for-4 with a grand slam while throwing out a pair of runners trying to steal second … just to prove his point.
But hey, it’s all part of the game, right?
And that’s what you missed on “The Cardinals Make Another August Run.”
Tara is a St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball and a contributor to Around the Horn. Follow her on Twitter @tarawellman.