Preview: Brewers at Cardinals
ST. LOUIS — When the Milwaukee Brewers arrive at Busch Stadium on Monday night to open a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, they will be without one of their big offseason acquisitions and their closer because of injuries.
Christian Yelich hit the 10-day disabled list Saturday with a right oblique injury suffered Wednesday night in a 6-0 loss to the Cardinals. Yelich tried to play that day but suffered a setback during batting practice.
“We were trying to push it to make it in the time frame to stay off the DL,” Yelich said to mlb.com, “and it just wasn’t happening. So take the extra time, get it right and hopefully be good to go soon.”
His absence will make things a little easier for Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas (1-0, 6.35 ERA), who posted an 8-4 win on April 2 in Milwaukee despite allowing three homers and four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Mikolas walked none, fanned five and also contributed a stunning two-run homer that put St. Louis ahead to stay.
Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 7.00) will try to shake off two rocky outings for the Brewers. He suffered Wednesday night’s loss to St. Louis, giving up six runs (three earned) and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Milwaukee also won’t have closer Corey Knebel, who is on the DL with a strained left hamstring.
After Luke Weaver slipped a called third strike past A.J. Pollock to open the second inning, Pollock argued with plate umpire Tim Timmons. Arizona manager Torey Lovullo took up the argument, was ejected and directed a profanity at Molina.
Molina erupted from his stance, lunging at Lovullo and appearing to bump Timmons twice in an attempt to get at Lovullo. After the confrontation, Timmons and crew chief Mike Winters opted against further ejections.
After the game, Molina said a suspension was the least of his worries and said if he bumped Timmons it wasn’t intentional. He added the duo had a good working relationship.
“You can’t talk to a player or manager like that,” Molina said of Lovullo’s actions. “It wasn’t professional at all. When you call me an (expletive) twice, you’ve got to be ready to fight. He’s got no reason to call me that. It’s unprofessional.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny ran out of the dugout and was able to prevent Molina from getting to Lovullo. Matheny said he was merely trying to keep Molina in the game and keep one of Arizona’s players from going after him.
As for Lovullo’s choice of words, which the manager admitted to after the game, Matheny said he went too far in protecting Pollock from ejection.
“That’s on him,” Matheny said. “First time I’ve seen anything like that happen. I always have my guys’ back, no matter what.”
What had to be more annoying to Matheny and St. Louis was blowing a 1-0 lead in the seventh and losing a game in which it got a great start from Weaver, who fanned seven and gave up three hits in 6 1/3 innings.