Molina: 'Dumb' to Ask About Substance on Chest Protector

Yadier Molina is just as surprised as the rest of us. More

"That's a dumb question", Molina said.

Whatever happened, it sure made for a unusual situation at Busch Stadium. The ball skipped up and stuck to Molina's protector by the time he located it, Szczur was safely at first base. "It was definitely Velcro-ed to his chest". The ball was stuck to Molina's chest protector after the Cubs' Matt Szczur struck out swinging allowing Szczur to reach first base when Molina couldn't find the ball.

What was Cecil's explanation? "I have nothing to tell you". But the bullpen, which was supposed to be a strength, has blown two late-inning leads in three games. The Gold Glove catcher gave a bemused look and smiled.

"I haven't seen that one before", Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Schwarber - an emergency catcher who might have to wear a brace on his left leg for the rest of his career - offered this theory: "Catchers like to put pine tar on their leg guard for extra stick to throw the ball to second base, things like that, get feeling".

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"I fully expected that because I've never seen it", Cecil said before St. Louis played Cincinnati on Friday. It's hard to steal bases and go from first to third when you can't get on base in the first place. The result completed a rain-extended season-opening series against the rival Cardinals that set a tone for how the Cubs hope to go about their business in defense of their World Series championship. Instead of being the first out of the inning, Szczur ended up scoring when teammate Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run home run two batters later. A run scored on the play, and after two more singles off Lackey the Cubs quickly trailed, 3-0.

Schwarber got carted off Chase Field during Game 3 previous year with what was supposed to be a season-ending injury. That brought home J.T. Realmuto, whose single in the 10th was his third hit of the game, including a two-run homer in the eighth that made it 2-all. "I turned the horseshoe around".

John Lackey (1-0) threw six solid innings against his former team and new Cubs closer Wade Davis got his second save.

"First time in. how many, 13 years?" Travis d'Arnaud hit a two-run double and Wilmer Flores added a two-run home run against Jaime Garcia (0-1). The Cardinals added another run in the bottom of the fifth on a Yadier Molina sacrifice fly (in part due to a wild pitch by John Lackey that allowed Alemdys Diaz to advance to third with one out). "There will be a lot of firsts this year". Brett Cecil gave up the Schwarber home run to take his first loss.

Chicago managed to maintain the lead throughout the rest of the game and took home the win.

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