Cardinals Vs. Phillies: Yadier Molina's 1st Inning Grand Slam Paces St. Louis Victory

The Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

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Roy Halladay Injury: Strained Shoulder Forced Phillies Ace Out After Yadier Molina Grand Slam

The Philadelphia Phillies finally got the Roy Halladay injury news—as delayed by Memorial Day—and it's not great: It turns out that the discomfort that caused him to leave Sunday's loss against the St. Louis Cardinals was caused by a strained shoulder, and he could miss up to two months for the resulting rehab. Halladay gave up a grand slam in the first inning of that start, but it wasn't on a bad pitch—a two-seamer low in the zone that hit 92 on the gun.

Of course, he'd put the runners on in the first place. Halladay actually went 1-2-3 in the second inning, but from his pitch selection—he didn't throw a straight fastball to either of the first two batters he faced—a braver man than I could suggest that he already knew something was wrong.

But if you were wondering whether Roy Halladay could retire Adam Wainwright, Rafael Furcal, and Skip Schumaker while dealing with a relatively severe shoulder problem, you finally got your weirdly specific answer.

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Roy Halladay Injury A Strained Shoulder; He'll Miss Up To Two Months

The Philadelphia Phillies got bad Roy Halladay injury news Tuesday—he'll miss up to two months with a strained shoulder, according to Associated Press reports—but not the worst possible news, which has to be small comfort to a Phillies team that's watched every piece of its championship-contending core appear to get old at the same time. If his rotator cuff is really unaffected it appears that Halladay, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, has avoided the kind of structural damage that would put his career into doubt.

Meanwhile, though, the Phillies are without the most obvious option in free agency—Roy Oswalt, who started 23 games for them last season, ended his holdout on the same day Halladay began to be held out by signing with the Texas Rangers. The Phillies hope to get young starter Vance Worley back soon instead. In the meantime, they're now without Halladay, in addition to the already-brutal losses of second baseman Chase Utley and first baseman Ryan Howard, who suffered a major Achilles tendon injury making the last out of the 2011 NLDS.

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Roy Halladay Injury: Philadelphia Phillies Ace To See Doctor Tuesday For Shoulder Soreness

The Philadelphia Phillies' rotation is in doubt so long as the Roy Halladay injury prognosis is in limbo following his latest bout of shoulder soreness, but there's news, whether good or bad, on the way: the Phillies ace, who left his Sunday loss to the St. Louis Cardinals after two innings, is set to visit a doctor on Tuesday, according to Philly.com.

Halladay, once considered injury-prone, has been remarkably healthy of late; he's thrown at least 30 starts for six consecutive years, and despite some rumors about decreased velocity he remains on pace for a seventh in this, his age-36 season. He's widely considered the best pitcher in baseball, and it would be a major blow for the Phillies if they lost him for an extended period of time.

They should know one way or another Tuesday. Unitl then--and possibly after, if the news is bad--rumors will continue to fly about the Phillies and Roy Oswalt making a remarriage of convenience. Since our Cardinals nearly signed Roy Oswalt five months ago and homered off a possibly dinged-up Roy Halladay a few days ago, we feel personally responsible for most of the current Phillies news cycle.

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Yadier Molina's Dehydration Not A Long-Term Problem For St. Louis Cardinals

What looked a little like another Yadier Molina injury at the time turned out to be more exotic—but thankfully, less serious. The St. Louis Cardinals' 8-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday was all thanks to Yadier Molina's first-inning grand slam, but their star catcher left in the fifth inning after what turned out to be a bout of dehydration. Word after the game was that the move was precautionary; he's unlikely to miss any additional time for it. Which is good news for the Cardinals, since he's off to a scorching start: through two months he's hitting .324/.370/.538, with seven home runs and 28 RBI.

He finished the game 2-2 with the grand slam; his little-used understudy, Tony Cruz, finished the game off 1-2. It won't have much to do with this particular bout of dehydration, but the Cardinals are likely to give Cruz more chances to spell Molina going forward; he's on pace for 145 regular-season games this year, which would be a career high. And since they're on the hook for him through 2017, the Cardinals suddenly have a major incentive to look at what's best for Yadier Molina's career over the long-term.

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Roy Halladay Injury: Shoulder Soreness The Early Diagnosis For Phillies Ace

The St. Louis Cardinals winning and Adam Wainwright looking great were both huge here in town, but the big national news from Sunday's win is a potential Roy Halladay injury—the Philadelphia Phillies ace left their 8-3 loss after working through a scoreless second inning, with something the Phillies are describing right now as simple shoulder soreness. (Though I'm not sure shoulder soreness is ever simple for a pitcher.) Halladay took the loss, falling to 4-5 on the season after giving up a first-inning grand slam to Yadier Molina.

That record should indicate that it's been a tough season already, as far as Roy Halladay goes—of course, a tough season for Roy Halladay involves a strikeout-to-walk ratio over four instead of over six. A significant amount of missed time for Halladay could make the Phillies the surprise leaders in the upcoming bidding war for a familiar face—Roy Oswalt, who's been connected with the Cardinals all year.

But as the Cardinals get good news about Chris Carpenter, the Philadelphia Phillies are struck by potentially awful news about his NLCS adversary. His less-than-stellar start helped the Cardinals to a crucial win, but no fan of baseball can be happy about the possibility of a Roy Halladay injury.

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Roy Halladay Injury: Phillies Ace Leaves Game Vs. Cardinals With Shoulder Tightness

Yadier Molina's grand slam put the Philadelphia Phillies behind for good, but if this Roy Halladay injury is a serious one the pitches he threw to get out of a scoreless second inning they could prove far more damaging to the Phillies' playoff hopes than that one mistake in the first. Halladay left the Phillies' loss vs. the St. Louis Cardinals with what they later announced to be shoulder soreness, according to Philly.com. The Cardinals went on to put four more runs on relievers Joe Savery and Chad Qualls.

This hasn't quite been a classic Roy Halladay season to date—he's 4-5, with an ERA of 3.98—and some Phillies observers have been worried about what appears to be a slight decline in velocity all season.

Halladay's shoulder will be given the once, twice, or three-times-over over the next few days, as the Philadelphia Phillies scramble to find out what's wrong with their ace and the consensus best-pitcher-in-baseball. For more on their series with the Cardinals, and on Roy Halladay's injury, check out our storystream.

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Yadier Molina Out Of St. Louis Cardinals Lineup Saturday On Rare Off Day

The St. Louis Cardinals don't give Yadier Molina a lot of days off, for a starting catcher, and perhaps Saturday was a good example of why—Molina sat and the Cardinals were promptly shut out by Kyle Kendrick and the Philadelphia Phillies, with backup Tony Cruz going 0-3. If Molina's your fantasy baseball catcher, then, expect plenty of time in the lineup until the next rest day; the last game he'd missed before this one was back on May 16.

All in all it's hard being Tony Cruz, who won a hard-fought battle for the backup catcher position in Spring Training and has been rewarded for it with 14 games and 33 plate appearances. All the time off hasn't been good for his numbers—he's just 4-33 with a double, and has yet to appear at third base, his other position, though that may change so long as offense-focused third catcher Steven Hill is on the roster in relief of the injured Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter.

Molina is hitting .316/.363/.513 this year with 13 doubles and six home runs after signing an extension that will keep him in St. Louis through 2017 in the offseason. He's on pace to play a startling 148 games, which will probably come down over the course of the season.

More Cardinals news handpicked from SB Nation St. Louis:

  • With all these injuries it's important to get to know your Cardinals call-ups. Meet Steven Hill, the third baseman/catcher the Cardinals brought up when Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig were both struck down.
  • Of course, the Cardinals have called up yet another rookie since then. Here's more about Chuckie Fick, the reliever the Cardinals called up after optioning Fernando Salas to AAA Memphis.
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