Cards hope to leave injury bug behind after painful series
Heyward 3rd player to exit with in-game injury in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals' bus pulled out of Miller Park on Sunday night and headed to the airport, where players and staff were to board a plane bound for St. Louis.
They couldn't take flight soon enough.
With a 6-3 loss to the Brewers on Sunday, the Cardinals completed a series in which three players hobbled off the field midgame. Yadier Molina was lost after taking a foul tip off his right knee on Friday and didn't appear again over the weekend. Adam Wainwright is likely done for the season after an Achilles injury suffered on Saturday. And on Sunday, it was Jason Heyward who joined manager Mike Matheny on the long walk to the dugout, this time after Heyward felt his left groin pull while planting to make a throw.
The game didn't end before Mark Reynolds face-planted into the left-field wall, too, though he passed initial concussion tests and stayed in.
"We don't play the game to avoid injury," Matheny said. "Guys go hard and injuries happen in this game."
The good news for the Cardinals is that neither of the injury issues from Sunday is expected to linger. Heyward will be examined by team doctors in St. Louis on Monday, and, when asked about a potential disabled-list stint, Matheny said "it doesn't appear to be anything that would go in that direction."
Heyward suffered the injury while retrieving Gerardo Parra's triple into the right-field corner in the third inning.
"It was just a weird play," Heyward said. "I went into the corner trying to get it in as quick as possible and my back foot kind of stuck in and slid at the same time."
After lobbing the ball back toward the infield, Heyward tried to stretch out his leg and lobbied to say in. Matheny had him do some light jogging on the outfield grass, during which Heyward said he felt no discomfort. Regardless, Matheny pulled him there and sent Jon Jay to take Heyward's place in right field.
Four innings later, Reynolds, making his first career start in left field, ran face-first into the video board that runs along the left-field ball as he tracked a long flyout by Parra. He went down upon impact and was slow to get up. Met by Matheny and a member of the training staff, Reynolds was given a quick concussion test, which he passed.
"It took me a minute to find my bearings," Reynolds said. "Then I was good."
He proved so a few minutes later when he ran into the wall again to make another catch. Watching Reynolds make that play, Matheny threw his hands up, giving an exasperated look of sorts from the dugout.
"Fortunately, he didn't hit it as hard the second time," Matheny said. "It looked like he wanted to test to see if [the wall] was still hard."
Reynolds passed a more extensive concussion test when he came into the dugout at the end of that half inning.