PITTSBURGH -- He is not the best hitter, or the one with the most power, or the best-known. But Josh Harrison has become the symbol of the Pirates' swashbuckling style. If there is a face of the Bad News Bucs, it belongs to Harrison following his full-contact crash Tuesday night into Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina. The day after that second-inning play in the Pirates' 9-0 victory, Harrison was a bit sheepish about the notoriety it has brought him, saying, "I just want to move on from it."
Overnight, he had finally seen replays of the collision, which only confirmed to him that "Molina had the plate covered; I really had no other place to go." The legitimacy of the hard-nosed play was endorsed by none other than Molina himself, who also had had a chance to revisit the play on video. "Clean play," said Molina, who hoped to be over strains to his left shoulder, neck and back in time to rejoin the Cardinals' lineup either Thursday or Friday. "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." Harrison also revealed having flashbacks to a comparable play in the few instants he had between third and home. As he rounded third and tried to score on Jose Tabata's single to Carlos Beltran, he thought back to July 4, 2011, when he likewise tried to score from second on a single by Alex Presley to Houston right fielder Hunter Pence. Astros catcher Carlos Corporan had the plate similarly blocked, and Harrison slid into him feet-first. Corporan caved in atop him, leaving him dazed, bloody-nosed and sore. "And I knew I didn't want the same thing to happen again," Harrison said of Tuesday's play, "so I had to go in full-body."