Yadier Molina Leaves Game on Stretcher

Rupert PupkinCorrespondent IJune 15, 2008

Compliments of the Associated Press:

Cardinals' catcher Yadier Molina was taken off the field on a stretcher with a brace around his neck after getting run over on a tag play in the ninth inning Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Molina was taken to a hospital for evaluation of neck and back pain. Team spokesman Brian Bartow said Molina did not lose consciousness after the collision.

Manager Tony La Russa said initial reports were positive. Albert Pujols, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf, told the manager in the 10th inning that he had spoken with Molina before the catcher was taken to hospital.

"The initial stuff was OK," La Russa said. "At least right now. We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best."

Molina got spun around on a one-hop throw from first baseman Chris Duncan, who had fielded Phillies' star Jimmy Rollins' bad-hop grounder. As he was turning to make the tag, Molina collided with pinch-runner Eric Bruntlett. He was face down in the dirt for several minutes while being attended to by medical personnel.

Bruntlett and Jayson Werth, Philadelphia's next hitter, were among those watching nearby. La Russa had no problem with the play saying, "I don't blame the runner.

"It gets your stomach a little bit because you fear the worst," the manager said. "It was very scary and we'll see. Hopefully, we're OK."

Molina showed plate umpire Tim McClelland he still had the ball, holding it in his right hand, before collapsing in front of the plate. He did not appear to be moving as he was carried off the field on a stretcher.

La Russa said Molina was told not to move because he had been complaining about his neck.

"That's all we need, is for him to be OK," La Russa said.