SAN FRANCISCO -- Yadier Molina took only a few light swings on Wednesday before the pain around his left oblique muscle became too much for him to continue. That made it an easy decision, manager Mike Matheny said, to write a Game 4 lineup sans Molina for a second straight day against the Giants in the National League Championship Series.
Molina hadn't swung a bat since sustaining the injury in Game 2 on Sunday. Told that he could not exacerbate the injury by testing his torque, Molina gave it a short try before ending the session.
"It didn't feel real great, as expected," Matheny said. "He's still continuing to feel good as he goes out and plays catch, and throwing, receiving. Doing the things he needs to behind the plate are all fine."
As a result, Molina's status remains essentially unchanged from Game 3 to Game 4. He remains an option to enter as a defensive replacement but he would not be able to offer the Cardinals anything offensively.
Matheny said he expects Molina to at least take some dry swings daily, either until the Cardinals' postseason run is over or he hits a point where he believes he can swing through the discomfort.
"Once any of these guys get that statement from the medical staff that you can't hurt yourself worse, then it's game on," Matheny said. "He's honest [with his self-assessment]: 'Nope, I can't do that today.' And when he says he can, it probably means that he can. We're going to have to look at it and to validate what he's saying and we're seeing. But right now, that's really an advantage to us that he has been put in that spot where he can go as hard as he can without hurting himself."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.