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Yadier Molina leaves Game 2 of NLCS with strained left oblique

The Cardinals have lost star catcher Yadier Molina to a strained left oblique in Game 2 of the NLCS against San Francisco.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina left Game 2 of the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants with a strained left oblique on Sunday night. Molina appeared to suffer the injury in the bottom of the sixth inning while swinging in the batter's box, and was replaced by Tony Cruz behind the plate for the beginning of the seventh frame.

Molina grounded into a double play off Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt when the injury occurred, causing the catcher to keel over in pain near home plate after making contact:

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The news of a strained left oblique could be devastating for the Cardinals, who have long depended on Molina as one of their most important players. According to the FOX broadcast, Molina has caught all but five innings for St. Louis in the postseason since 2005, so this is obviously a massive blow to the team.

Molina was 1-for-2 with a single in Game 2 before leaving with the injury. If he's out beyond Sunday, which seems highly likely given the nature of the injury, Cruz stands to take over as the primary catcher going forward.