In the constant quest for balanced coverage, a day after poking at the lack of productivity from the number six spot in the St. Louis Cardinals batting order, it is worth noting that catcher Yadier Molina came through again on Tuesday night at Busch Stadium. Both of his recent night heroics came while batting sixth.
Molina's two-run single in the
sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie, powering
After the Braves intentionally walked red-hot Colby Rasmus with first base open in the eighth inning of Monday's series-opening tie game, the Cardinals catcher made them pay. His run scoring double to left-center field plated the eventual winning run in the 4-3 victory.
As Molina collected his 12th and 13th RBIs of the month (and season) Tuesday night, it officially became his biggest April of his six seasons as a major leaguer. In 2009, Molina accumulated 12 RBI on the way to 54 that year, second only to his career-best 56 in 2008.
With just one more RBI in the next three games, Molina will tie for the second-most RBI by a Cardinals catcher in April since at least 1952.
Of course, the gold standard for
RBI by Cardinals catcher during April (1952 though 04/27/10)
While Mike Matheny was not known for his offense, Molina's hot start also eclipsed several other famous catchers' best first months of the season as Cardinals, including Joe Torre (1970) and Tim McCarver (1967).
From a career perspective, despite being just 27 years of age, Molina is already sixth on the club's list of most RBI by a catcher. With an average 2010, Molina should pass Jimmie Wilson and Tom Pagnozzi to rank fourth all-time by the end of the season.
RBI by Cardinals catcher, career
Though he did not enjoy as fast of
a start in April as others noted above, when discussing Cardinals catchers, the
late Darrell Porter deserves note,
as well. Porter, who played with
Porter offers Molina a target in
2010 as he registered the top two RBI seasons by a
Note that due to pinch-hitting and well as playing at other positions, not all the RBIs of these catchers were accumulated while they were in the game as assigned behind the plate.
RBI by Cardinals catcher, season, 1981-present
Special thanks to statistician Tom Orf for teeing up the data tables shown above.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Brian pens a column each Wednesday at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat and selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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