Cards await MRI results on Wong's hamstring

September 20th, 2019

CHICAGO -- Cardinals second baseman underwent an MRI exam Friday morning on his left hamstring, which he strained before exiting Thursday night’s 5-4 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt didn’t know the results of the scan before Friday afternoon’s game. Once the results surface, the severity of the strain and Wong’s timetable will be better known. The initial diagnosis was a mild tear in the muscle, and Wong is not expected to play the next couple of days as the Cardinals await details on the extent of the injury.

“The favorable news is, he experienced a restful night’s sleep, didn’t experience any big cramping or unusual discomfort,” Shildt said. “I don’t know what that ultimately means, but it’s typically a better sign that he didn’t have the discomfort or feel it during the night. So the MRI will let us know, and we’ll go from there.”

Wong pulled up while running out his groundout to first base in the top of the fifth inning, and he gingerly walked into the dugout. To start the bottom of the frame, -- who hit the decisive home run in the top of the 10th -- came into the game to play third base, while moved to second.

“[Wong is] obviously disappointed, but he’s optimistic it’s not too bad,” Shildt said. “He wants to do everything he can to get back on the field.”

Wong has been crucial to the Cardinals’ second-half success, with a .342/.409/.487 slash line since the All-Star break. His production moved him to the top of the lineup, which has only continued his success and helped stabilize the Cardinals’ offense.

Wong is also a big reason for the Cardinals’ reliable defense this year. The 28-year-old -- who leads all Major League second basemen with 15 defensive runs saved, per FanGraphs -- is eyeing his first Gold Glove Award this year.

For now, Edman will take over playing second base and bat second in the lineup, with Carpenter at third and batting fifth. Edman has reached safely in nine straight games and has a 1.025 OPS in September.

Wong's absence was felt early in Friday's game, when a sharp grounder to second base was booted by Edman, bringing home an unearned run to break a scoreless tie.

“It’s a word you don’t throw around lightly, but it rings true with Kolten: He’s an elite defender,” Shildt said. “He’s looking at a Gold Glove. That’s not to disparage anyone else, but it’s just -- he’s the best second baseman in our league. Edman’s done a nice job. He’ll make the plays, and we’ll move forward. Carp’s done a nice job, too.

“If you look at the lineup, it takes a little bit of speed out and adds a little more pop to it. We’ll balance it out.”

Molina milestones

's appearance (1,939) at catcher on Thursday moved him to seventh all-time in Major League history. He will fall just short this regular season of passing Tony Peña (1,950) for sixth all-time.

The Cardinals veteran also hit his 378th career double on Tuesday to pass Joe Medwick for fourth all-time in Cardinals history.