Molina calls Harrison’s hit a “clean play”
A day after suffering a left shoulder, back and neck strain during a collision at home plate, Yadier Molina called Josh Harrison’s hit on him a “clean play.”
Molina, who said he hopes to return to the lineup on Thursday or Friday, had watched a replay of the hit by the time the Cardinals’ clubhouse opened on Wednesday. Molina did not criticize Harrison for bowling him over and initiating contact with his head as he made an inning-ending tag on the infielder in the second inning on Tuesday.
“Clean play,” Molina said. “Clean play. That’s part of baseball. He did what he had to do, and I did what I had to do. It sucks because you don’t want anybody to get hurt. This time it was me to get hurt. But it was a clean play.”
Added Harrison: “I immediately asked him, ‘Are you okay?’ but he just moaned. But I was glad to see he hadn’t completely passed out. That would’ve been more serious. Now I just want to move on from it.”
Molina will not participate in baseball activities on Wednesday, but he did report improvement less than 24 hours after taking the hit. The headaches are gone, he said, and the shoulder pain is negligible. His neck, though, remains stiff.
“Not too bad, that’s what I say,” Molina said. “I’m OK.”
Molina also went through a second round of concussion tests. Like Tuesday’s exams, those checked out clean a day later.
Molina said he had not heard from the Pirates’ infielder since the incident, but added that Harrison should not feel obligated to check in on Molina’s health. Said Molina: “He didn’t do anything wrong.”
Others in the Cardinals’ clubhouse were not pleased that Harrison led into Molina’s head with his left arm, noting that it seemed Harrison should have made contact elsewhere or tried to slide.
Molina was asked if he would have initiated similar contact with a catcher had he been in Harrison’s place.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “Right now, you don’t know. You have to be in that situation and you have to react. You have to make a decision and he decided to go after me.
“You can slide around me or you can go after me. He decided to go after me. And he was out.”
Harrison, too, reviewed a replay of the collision after talking to reporters on Tuesday night, and he reiterated that he felt he “really had no other place to go.”
Harrison also said that as he was coming home, he had flashbacks to a July 4, 2011, play at the plate in which he slid feet-first into Astros catcher Carlos Corporan. On that play, Harrison was the one who took the brunt of the hit.
“And I knew I didn’t want the same thing to happen again,” Harrison said. “So I had to go in full-body.”
Follow me on Twitter: @LangoschMLB