Molina shakes off sore thumb and Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina starred in St. Louis' series-opening win over Milwaukee Friday night.



Catcher Yadier Molina, who earlier Friday was deemed doubtful for the game, even by himself, because of a sprained right thumb, showed with conviction that he was not adversely affected.


He caught three runners on the bases, had three singles, stole two bases, forcing wild throws by Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado on both occasions, and scored two runs as the Cardinals rallied from an early deficit to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 9-3.


After missing Thursday night's game in Colorado, Molina was worried he wouldn't be able to play on Friday, or even worse, that there was a break. X-rays taken during the day found nothing amiss, however.


"I woke up this morning and my thumb was feeling better," Molina said. "And then I got my X-rays and the results came out negative. That was good news."

Molina said he still felt some discomfort in his thumb, but it apparently was insignificant. He has thrown out the last four runners who have tried to steal on him besides nailing a runner at third base Friday after fielding a bunt and catching another runner between first and second after a pitch in the dirt had gotten away a couple of feet.


His two stolen bases, including one of third base, gave him 10 in 11 tries this season. "When they go 1.7 (seconds) to the plate, I'm an aggressive runner and I'm going to take a chance," the slow-running Molina said.


Second baseman Daniel Descalso, who delivered a key run-scoring double in the fourth, said, Molina "is amazing. "And he's so smart, he knows when to go. And he's safe. All the time."



1B Lance Berkman was placed on the disabled list for the third time this year and probably will be no more than a specialty player for the rest of the season. Berkman, who has right knee inflammation (he had surgery on the knee in late May), will be out at least two weeks and possibly longer. When he returns, whether in August or September, he figures to be very much a part-timer or pinch hitter. "I think I'd have to be that," Berkman said. "For the good of the team, you can't put AC (1B Allen Craig) on the bench and let him rot. It's been a frustrating year, certainly not how I envisioned it, but by the same token, I want to do everything I can to help the team. If that means exclusively pinch hitting or being in a utility role, I'd be more than happy to do that."

RHP Joe Kelly, who drove in the go-ahead run himself in the fourth, gained his first victory since June 22 even though he didn't record his normal quality start (at least six innings pitched, three or fewer earned runs allowed). That was a feat he had achieved in his previous seven starts, with only one win to show for it. Kelly (2-4), who got 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, allowed nine hits and two walks but pitched out of trouble more often than not. Manager Mike Matheny said Kelly was "fighting himself a lot at the beginning. He did a nice job of getting himself out of trouble, but it was trouble that he created. It was a great lesson for him, learning how to pitch when you don't have your best stuff."

LF Matt Holliday, who had two infield hits, raised his average to .323. He has reached base via hit or walk in 29 consecutive starts.

3B David Freese, who helped beat Milwaukee in the National League Championship Series last year, winning the Most Valuable Player award in that series, has continued the assault against the Brewers. Freese had a two-run single Friday, meaning he has hit safely in all 10 games the teams have played this season. He is 15 for 39 in those games.

OF Shane Robinson was recalled from Class AAA Memphis to take the roster spot of 1B Lance Berkman, who went back on the disabled list.

SS Rafael Furcal, who had missed five games with a lower back problem, was back in the lineup after declining to take a cortisone shot. "I'm feeling better than the last three or four days," he said. "I got checked out and they could see on the MRI it was a little irritated from an old back surgery I had, but it was nothing bad. They wanted to give me a shot to make sure, but I said we're going to do it with work and see what happens." Furcal went 0-for-4 on Friday.

By the Numbers:

22 - Consecutive scoreless appearances for RHP Mitchell Boggs, covering 19 1/3 innings.

Quote to Note:

"When you have as many stops and starts as I have. … my goodness, if you'd told me I'd have two homers and seven RBI in August, I would have laughed at you."

- 1B Lance Berkman, on the disabled list for the third time this season, this time with right knee inflammation.


C Yadier Molina (sprained right thumb) was hurt Aug. 1, and he didn't play Aug. 2. X-rays were negative, and he was back in the lineup Aug. 3.

1B Lance Berkman (sore right knee) re-injured the surgically repaired joint Aug. 2 and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 3.

SS Rafael Furcal (back discomfort) did not play July 28-Aug. 2. He felt a little better Aug. 3 and was back in the lineup.

LHP Jaime Garcia (left shoulder strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 6, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 16. After further examination, it was determined that he has tearing in his rotator cuff. He threw 40 pitches from 60 feet on flat ground for the first time in a month July 4. He threw live batting practice July 25. He began a rehab assignment July 30 in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League, and he was slated to make three or four starts before a potential return to the Cardinals in mid-August.

RHP Kyle McClellan (torn labrum in right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list May 18 due to a strained right elbow, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 30. He threw on flat ground for the first time July 3, but he subsequently felt shoulder pain. He had season-ending shoulder surgery July 10.

RHP Chris Carpenter (weak right shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 10. He threw for the first time since March on June 13 and then threw another 40 pitches on June 15. He threw to hitters for the first time June 22 but then had a setback June 25 when he felt renewed weakness in the shoulder. He said it felt better the next day, and he had an extensive throwing session off flat ground June 27. On June 28, he was told he has thoracic outlet syndrome, which can cause, among its effects, weakness in one's shoulder. A July 2 bullpen session was canceled. He underwent season-ending surgery July 19 to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.

Link to boxscore: St. Louis 9, Milwaukee 3

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories