Molina homers twice as Waino and Yadi tie record for most starts by a pitcher-catcher battery in MLB history

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, left, and starting pitcher Adam Wainwright walk in...
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, left, and starting pitcher Adam Wainwright walk in from the bullpen after warming up before the start of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)(Jeff Roberson | AP)
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 1:19 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - It’s been a long time in the making, but on a picturesque Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina finally got there.

With Wainwright’s signature warm-up music blaring over the stadium speakers and former Cardinal Lane Thomas stepping to the plate, Busch really was God’s Country as Wainwright and Molina embarked upon their 324th MLB game as a starting battery, tying the all-time mark set by Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan.

A longstanding battery of the Detroit Tigers from 1963 to 1975, Lilich and Freehan stood alone atop the list as the most prolific battery in baseball history.

Now they’ve got company.

Wainwright and Molina have spent their entire careers rising to the big moment, flashing that flair for the dramatic between the white lines. It should come as no surprise then that with all the attention trained on him and his batterymate Thursday, Molina would put on a show.

In his first at-bat of the afternoon in the second inning, Yadi rifled a Josiah Gray fastball deep to left and just inside the foul pole for, touching down inside Big Mac Land. The two-run shot gave the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.

Not satisfied by one curtain call on the day, Molina decided he needed another when he came to bat again in the fourth inning. Facing Gray again with his team needing a lift after Washington had taken a 4-3 lead, Yadi golfed one just fair and just deep enough inside the left field foul pole for his second homer of the day to tie the game.

The multi-home run game is the ninth of Molina’s career and his first since April 2021. It’s also just the second time Molina has delivered a multi-home run game at Busch Stadium, with the only previous occurrence coming on May 14, 2017 against the Chicago Cubs.

For now, a tie for the all-time lead in starts from a single battery. By next week, perhaps, a new outright leading duo. Counting ahead four turns through the rotation, Wainwright is lined up to pitch against the Brewers on Wednesday, September 14 at Busch Stadium.

What a show that one is going to be.