At one point, Molina had regrouped and joined the cluster of players to get between Shildt and the Brewers. Pitching coach Mike Maddux also joined Gyorko as a buffer. The only incident – which violated all sorts of COVID-19-related social distancing protocols – resulted in the ejection of Shildt and Brewers manager Craig Counsell. No players were bounced as a result, and much to the surprise of several Cardinals Molina remained in the game.
He was still flexing and looking at his left hand as Shildt and teammate Matt Carpenter approached him to talk about yielding to Matt Wieters.
Wieters had his gear on, was standing near home plate.
That Molina stayed proved important later on as he had an animated conversation with home plate umpire John Bacon as rookie Nabil Crismatt finished his warmup. It was not immediately clear the precise issue that Molina had, though it is possible that Crismatt had his warmup pitches cut short. The rookie waved as if to start the inning, end the discussion and insisted he was ready to pitch. The discussion between Molina and Bacon brought Maddux, bench coach Oliver Marmol, and other umpires over before the inning could begin.
Crismatt did what the previous pitchers in the game could not – keep Milwaukee from batting through its order in an inning.
The Brewers have batted around in the fourth and fifth innings against the Cardinals and scored 13 runs total in that stretch.
They've bounced starter Flaherty from the game, chewed up long reliever Jake Woodford, expelled reliever Rob Kaminsky, and now brought Crismatt into the game. The Cardinals still have six outs to cover in the game and are starting to run out of pitchers if they want a full complement for the doubleheader on Wednesday.
Not all losses are created equal.
This one traces back to Flaherty's trouble with the Brewers.
Milwaukee greeted the Cardinals' opening day starter with nine runs on eight hits and two walks. The Brewers hit back to back homers off the righthander in the first inning, and that was but a flesh wound compared to what came in the fourth inning. Flaherty did not record an out, and yet he allowed five of the runs in the inning.
In his last 33 1/3 innings against the Brewers, he's allowed 30 earned runs.
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