CHICAGO -- Yadier Molina finished a spectacular play by Jason Heyward in the eighth inning of Sunday's 4-3 win over the Cubs with a swipe tag to prevent the tying run from scoring. But the Cardinals will have to await the results of an MRI, scheduled for Monday, to learn whether the sequence could cost their veteran catcher additional time.
Sprinting home from third as Heyward's throw came in from right field on Addison Russell's fly ball, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo slid into home and, as he did, clipped Molina's glove with his foot. Molina applied the tag for the second out of the inning but then immediately dropped his glove and winced in pain.
He convinced his manager and a team athletic trainer to let him remain in the game, and caught seven pitches -- five of which registered at 100 mph -- from Trevor Rosenthal before the inning ended. His day ended there, too, as manager Mike Matheny removed Molina for pinch-hitter Matt Adams in the top of the ninth. Molina was later diagnosed with a left thumb sprain.
"Him coming out of the game right there, it took some talking to do it because he wants to stay in and felt like he could still catch," Matheny explained. "But I didn't want to see him with a bat in his hand. Better chance to let somebody come in and take the at-bat."
Matheny described himself as "concerned" and added that he is "anxious to hear what the doctors come up with." Molina's left thumb has been bothering him for some time simply due to the normal wear and tear of the catching position. This is not the thumb that he had surgically repaired last season after tearing a ligament in it during a headfirst slide.
"It hurts a little bit," said Molina, his thumb tightly wrapped as he spoke afterward. "We'll see what the MRI says."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.