Molina’s blast adds to MVP credentials

Molina’s blast adds to MVP credentials

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Molina’s blast adds to MVP credentials

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by Scott Bierman / BaseballStL

KMOV.com

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 19 at 7:07 PM

(BaseballStL) -- Yadier Molina had the chance for redemption four innings after dropping the ball on a play at home plate to allow the Chicago Cubs to tie the game in the second inning on Wednesday.

One of the few defensive mistakes you will ever see from Molina came one inning after the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The play started when Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo tagged from third base on a fly ball to Jon Jay, who beat him to the plate with his throw. As Molina applied the tag to Rizzo’s leg, the ball came loose allowing the Cubs to tie the game and advance the runners on base.

It would be scored as an error, the second error in the inning for St. Louis and the third this season for Molina.

That would be the only scoring done for either team until the sixth inning.

Molina, who entered with a .367 batting average, came to the plate with one out and a runner on first base. After fouling off the previous two fastballs thrown by Cubs starter Edwin Jackson, Molina sent the fifth fastball seen in the at-bat 385 feet away for his fifth home run of the season and a 3-1 St. Louis lead.

“That pitch was in a good location. Sometimes you get lucky I think and I was lucky,” Molina grinned after his team’s eventual 4-1 victory over the rival Cubs.

The two-run blast would be the only hit in any of his four at-bats which dwindled his batting average to a respectable .365. It’s one thing to have a .365 batting average in April, but it’s June 19.

“He’s in a good place and he’s been there for awhile,” Mike Matheny said. “It’s not just a fluke.”

Wednesday’s starter Jake Westbrook agreed after allowing only two hits and three walks over seven innings pitched in his second start since returning from the disabled list.

“With the way he’s been hitting, but more importantly the way he’s handled us as a staff and the way we’ve been pitching. He, in my mind, is the reason for that,” Westbrook said. “When you’re going out there, he has a great game plan and he knows what he’s doing back there, especially with all the young guys that we’ve had come up including myself and (Adam Wainwright) as well. He’s helped us pitch a lot of good ballgames and I think he’s the main reason for that.”

When asked if he believes Molina is MVP worthy, Westbrook quickly replied, “no question about that.”

That decision will be up to the voters at the end of the season.

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