Eariler, we looked at the balance exhibited by the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals offense in the context of having five 20-home run hitters. On Saturday, the team emphasized their offensive parity in another way.
With a sacrifice fly in the Cardinals’ win over Chicago, Yadier Molina plated his 70th run of the 2012 season. It is another career high in a season full of them for the 29-year-old catcher (runs, hits, home runs, stolen bases, average, OBP, SLG, OPS).
With that RBI, Molina became the fifth Cardinal hitter to drive in at least 70 this season. That has tied the 2012 club with five others for the fourth-most 70-RBI men in team history. It is the first such occurrence since 1996, Tony La Russa’s first year as manager.
Three past Cardinals clubs sit on top, having featured six such players, with the most recent having been in 1954. Five of the previous eight clubs on this list went to the playoffs, including the 1934 and 1944 World Champions (see “PS” column in table below).
Along with Molina, this year’s group of top run producers includes Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Allen Craig and David Freese. Injured Rafael Furcal is next on the current list with 49 RBI, so there won’t be a sixth 70-RBI hitter on this season’s Cardinals.
Most 70-RBI hitters, single season, St. Louis Cardinals team history
|1954||6||Ray Jablonski||104||Wally Moon||76||Stan Musial||126||Rip Repulski||79||Bill Sarni||70||Red Schoendienst||79||no|
|1944||6||Walker Cooper||72||Johnny Hopp||72||Whitey Kurowski||87||Danny Litwhiler||82||Stan Musial||94||Ray Sanders||102||yes|
|1930||6||Jim Bottomley||97||Taylor Douthit||93||Frankie Frisch||114||Charlie Gelbert||72||Chick Hafey||107||George Watkins||87||yes|
|2012||5||Matt Holliday||98||Carlos Beltran||90||Allen Craig||87||David Freese||78||Yadier Molina||70||TBD|
|1996||5||Gary Gaetti||80||Ron Gant||82||Brian Jordan||104||Ray Lankford||86||John Mabry||74||yes|
|1987||5||Jack Clark||106||Tom Herr||83||Willie McGee||105||Terry Pendleton||96||Ozzie Smith||75||yes|
|1953||5||Steve Bilko||84||Ray Jablonski||112||Stan Musial||113||Red Schoendienst||79||Enos Slaughter||89||no|
|1934||5||Ripper Collins||128||Leo Durocher||70||Frankie Frisch||75||Joe Medwick||106||Jack Rothrock||72||yes|
|1921||5||Jack Fournier||86||Rogers Hornsby||126||Doc Lavan||82||Austin McHenry||102||Milt Stock||84||no|
There is concern, however, as to when Molina might get his 71st RBI. He left Saturday’s game in mid at-bat in the ninth due to lower back spasms. He was injured while trying to get away from a Carlos Marmol pitch that nearly hit him and is out of Sunday’s lineup.
Thanks to researcher Tom Orf for the table.