The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Molina’s pickoffs: The recap

Much has already been written about St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina’s overall excellence, and rightfully so. He has won Gold Gloves in the most recent back-to-back seasons, has been the National League All-Star starter behind the plate the last two years and of course, the 28-year-old has a World Series ring.

Yadier Molina (AP/Jeff Roberson)Last season, Molina led all major league catchers with 138 games played and batted .293. He was the toughest to strike out of all major league players the last two full seasons at one per 15.3 plate appearances.

Molina stops the opposition’s running game better than anyone. Since 2005, his catcher’s throwing percentage is 41.6 percent, best in MLB and still improving – up from 41.2 percent at the end of 2009.

The focus of this article, with the table below compiled by Tom Orf, illustrates one of the flashiest and most effective parts of Molina’s game – his MLB-leading 37 regular-season pickoffs since his 2004 debut. His first two of the 2010 season occurred during the recently-completed Philadelphia series.

To illustrate how dominant Molina is in this category, coming into this season, the next closest catcher had 13 pickoffs since 2005 (compared to Molina’s 34 at the time).

(Note this list includes 38 total pickoffs, including one in the 2006 NLDS. 37 regular season pickoffs are documented. As of now, we cannot explain why the Cardinals quote 36 pickoffs and where the discrepancy of one occurred.)

Pickoffs, Yadier Molina, career

Date Opp Inn Runner at From Out Score Final
7/22/2010 Phi 5 Polanco 1B C-1B 2 0-0 L 0-2
7/19/2010 Phi 3 Werth 1B C-1B 3 2-3 W 8-4
10/1/2009 @ Cin 3 Stubbs 1B C-1B 2 5-0 W 13-0
8/15/2009 SD 7 Venable 1B C-1B 3 5-4 W 7-4
7/17/2009 Arz 6 Reynolds 1B C-1B 1 1-0 W 6-1
7/11/2009 @ Chi 7 Theriot 1B C-1B 1 1-5 L 2-5
6/3/2009 Cin 1 Dickerson 1B C-1B 2 0-0 L 3-9
5/19/2009 Chi 1 Soriano 1B C-1B 1 0-0 W 3-0
4/27/2009 @ Atl 6 Escobar 1B C-1B 3 2-1 W 3-2
4/21/2009 NYM 1 Murphy 1B C-1B 1 0-0 W 6-4
8/30/2008 Hou 3 Newhan 1B C-1B 1 3-6 L 5-8
8/2/2008 Phi 8 Bruntlett 1B C-1B 3 1-2 L 1-2
7/23/2008 Mil 3 Weeks 1B C-1B 2 0-0 L 0-3
5/27/2008 Hou 1 Towles 1B C-1B 3 0-4 L 2-8
5/17/2008 TB 1 Longoria 1B C-1B 3 0-1 W 9-8
4/7/2008 @ Hou 8 Berkman 1B C-1B 3 0-3 L 3-5
4/6/2008 Was 1 Milledge 1B C-1B 3 0-0 W 3-0
9/4/2007 Pit 2 Pearce 1B C-1B 3 2-0 W 6-2
4/15/2007 Mil 5 Fielder 1B C-1B 3 4-2 W 10-2
9/20/2006 @ Mil 8 Hart 1B C-1B 3 0-0 L 0-1
7/29/2006 @ Chi 1 Barrett 2B C-SS 3 1-0 L 2-4
7/9/2006 @ Hou 9 Munson 1B C-1B 3 5-5 W 7-5
6/25/2006 @ Det 7 Thames 1B C-1B 3 1-1 L 1-4
5/27/2006 @ SD 9 Giles 1B C-1B 3 4-3 W 4-3
5/12/2006 Arz 1 Easley 2B C-1B-SS 2 0-0 W 5-3
5/8/2006 Col 3 Ardoin 1B C-1B 3 0-3 L 2-6
5/2/2006 @ Cin 5 Freel 1B C-1B 3 2-0 L 2-3
9/16/2005 @ Chi 7 Burnitz 1B C-1B 3 3-5 L 3-5
8/26/2005 @ Was 6 Wilkerson 1B C-1B 3 0-4 L 1-4
6/28/2005 Cin 7 Aurilia 1B C-1B 3 2-1 W 2-1
6/18/2005 @ TB 3 Cantu 1B C-1B 3 0-2 W 5-2
5/18/2005 @ Phi 2 Burrell 1B C-1B 3 0-0 W 8-4
5/5/2005 SD 8 Burroughs 1B C-1B 3 3-5 L 3-8
5/5/2005 SD 3 Jackson 1B C-1B 2 1-0 L 3-8
5/3/2005 @ Cin 2 Dunn 1B C-1B 1 0-0 W 4-2
4/12/2005 Cin 4 F.Lopez 1B C-1B 3 3-1 W 5-1
6/30/2004 @ Pit 7 Mackowiak 1B C-1B 3 4-4 L 5-6
NLDS
10/7/2006 SD 1 Piazza 1B C-1B 3 0-0 L 1-3

Follow me on Twitter.
Follow The Cardinal Nation Blog on Facebook.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.