Think back to early 2011 - Yadier Molina, catching for the Cardinals for 7 years at that point, was clearly a defensive standout...but offensively? Meh. Sure, for a catcher, there were some decent years in there (2009 being the most notable), but it certainly didn’t look like he’d be a power hitter of any real caliber. Well, fast-freaking-forward to today and tell 2011 you to shut your piehole, because Yadier Molina has 9 home runs on June 20th in the year of our lord two thousand dang eighteen. He is 23 days short of his 36th birthday, plays 385 games a year (I assume he goes home and catches a doubleheader in his backyard every night after he’s done at Busch), and is less than 7 weeks removed from Jordan Hicks exploding his delicate bits like a water balloon with a 100+ mph pitch. And still. AND STILL. Somehow, he puts that aside to have his 5th 2 HR game of his career. Somehow, despite averaging a home run every 19.6 games for the first seven years of his career, he is hitting a home run this year every 18.1 ABs.
Not that it mattered. Joy is fleeting in this world, and so is the enjoyment of any baseball game, fraught as baseball is with constant disappointment and failure. Even Mike Trout fails more often than he succeeds (although not that much more often, pls acquire Mike Trout). And so we soldier on, the thrills of seeing a spectacle of power from a once unlikely source tempered by open wounds of ignominious defeat at the hands of a team with a mascot that looks like a genetically deformed Koosh ball.
Also on the “joy is fleeting” note, the training staff had to come out and Michael Wacha was removed from the game after only 3.2 IP, with decreased velocity the whole time. An oblique strain, sigh. Do we have a pitcher remaining who isn’t held together with increasingly ludicrous Rube Goldbergesque contraptions of bandages and dirt? I swear on all that is holy, if after the game it’s discovered that Wacha was secretly pitching while missing ten of his ribs or something, I vote I get to be the new medical staff for the Cardinals.
Here’s the wrap-up:
Phillies on the board early with a Carlos Santana sac fly to score Rhys Hoskins in the first innning.
Cardinals came back in the next inning with Molina’s first HR of the day, a solo shot.
In the fourth inning, the Phillies added two more with a home run by Cesar Hernandez.
Not so fast, Yadi said, adding a two run home run of his own in the 6th (scoring Marcell Ozuna).
Phillies got the run back in the 7th with a home run by Odubel Herrera. Herrera made short work of the Cardinals pitching this series, going 6 for 14 with a home run in every game.
Jedd Gyorko hit a double in the 9th, but the Cardinals couldn’t capitalize.
On the bright side, Greg Holland’s Days Without Giving Up A Run counter advanced to 2. Mike Mayers also held the line well coming in to relieve Wacha with 3 Ks and no base runners allowed over 1.1 IP.
Cardinals head to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers tomorrow at 7:10 pm, which would be a good time to right the ship with....someone. Not sure who, but someone.