Ball sticks to catcher's chest protector in Cardinals game

Posted April 08, 2017

In a most sticky situation, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina couldn't find a ball that clung to his chest protector and the Chicago Cubs turned the freakish play into a late rally, beating St. Louis 6-4 Thursday. In 2014, New York Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda served a suspension for applying pine tar to a ball, in violation of Rule 8.02: "The pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball".

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was desperately searching for the ball so he could tag the runner out at first base - but alas the ball seemed to have vanished. "That's a dumb question", Molina responded, per Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Some catchers put pine tar somewhere on their uniforms or gear, often around the shin guards, for use on their fingers to help provide a better grip on the ball. There are no rules against the move. "I know Yadi doesn't put anything on his chest protectors".

'Molina repeated "I don't know" when asked about the mystery ball.

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Just when I had my head down at Busch Stadium thinking sad thoughts about losing the season-opening series to the Cardinals, the Cubs come up with one of their patented insane rallies and beat their division rivals 6-4, taking two of three in a playoff-intensity type of series. The Blue Jays have never gone homerless in their first three games of a season (see full recap). It's hard to steal bases and go from first to third when you can't get on base in the first place.

Matt Carpenter, 1B: After hitting.192 during exhibition play, he is hitting just.182 (2 for 11) in the real games. The ball was stuck to Molina's chest protector on a dropped third strike allowing the Cubs' Matt Szczur to reach first base when Molina couldn't find the ball.

The Cardinals lost to the Cubs on Thursday, but fans and players on both teams had something to smile about in the seventh inning.

He earned a World Series championship ring with the 2016 Cubs. The Cardinals were leading 4-2 at the time, and reliever Brett Cecil struck out Szcur on a curveball that hit the dirt. Manager Mike Matheny conspicuously bypassed him on Opening Day and Thursday Cubs slugger Kyle Schwarber abused him with a three-run homer.

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Addison Russell's RBI groundout in the sixth drew Chicago within 4-2, setting the stage for its deciding rally.

PHOENIX - Jake Lamb hit a three-run homer and Arizona won a four-game series over San Francisco at Chase Field for the first time in nine years. A run scored on the play, and after two more singles off Lackey the Cubs quickly trailed, 3-0. Lackey singled again in the fifth - the fifth multihit game of his career - and that helped lead to the Cubs' first run.

The Chicago output escalated from two runs in the second inning, to three in the third and four in the fourth in cold and windy - but sunny - conditions after rain washed out two starts between the teams this week.

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