The St. Louis Cardinals have lost six consecutive games, and are suddenly struggling despite sporting the best lineup in all of the National League. On Tuesday night, however, their recent nightmare became even more real, as their cornerstone player left their 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh early with a reported right knee strain.
Yadier Molina appeared at the start of Tuesday’s second game with Pittsburgh, but left after just 3 innings and an 0-for-2 output at the plate. While Molina had been reportedly dealing with this issue for weeks now, this is obviously cause for concern, as he has been one of their best players (if not the best player) throughout the season.
Even with the 0-2 day, Molina has produced a very impressive .330/.374/.479 slash line with 8 home runs this season. In addition to that production at the dish, he has been his normal, elite self behind the plate on defense, and with the combination of excellent play on both sides, he has emerged as one of the top catchers in all of baseball, in addition to being a darkhorse MVP candidate in the National League.
While we won’t know the extent of the injury (or the recovery period) until later, Molina’s potential absence is the last thing that St. Louis needs right now. He had a reported MRI earlier in July and it showed only inflammation, so we can go ahead and cue the Cardinals fans to hold their breath as they brace for more testing on that extremely important right knee.