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Molina becomes 2012 Cardinals’ fifth 70-RBI man

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

Year # Player RBI PS
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

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.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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5 Responses to “Molina becomes 2012 Cardinals’ fifth 70-RBI man”

  1. JumboShrimp says:

    Historically, how often does one reliever earn all the saves like Jason Motte is doing?

  2. JumboShrimp says:

    Moneyball for Lohse today. He could rise to 16-3, a terrific record to waltz into free agency with.

  3. JumboShrimp says:

    Lohse has enjoyed much success in St Louis, when healthy. During 2008, 2011, and 2012, Lohse has 45 wins against just 17 losses, a wonderful winning percentage.

  4. blingboy says:

    Interesting that none of the Schmalbert era teams made the list.

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