“I’m Feeling Strong”–Molina

(Busch Stadium) It wasn’t scored a hit, but the E6 that Yadier Molina reached base on in the 6th inning resulted in the game-winning RBI as the St. Louis Cardinals went on to beat San Francisco 6-3 on Sunday night.

“It’s a start,” said Molina, who later snapped his 0-21 skid two innings later with a single. “That’s a good start. We played a good game today and got some big hits in that inning.”

Aledmys Diaz, Matt Adams, and Greg Garcia also drove in runs in that 6th inning as eight Cardinals hitters came to the plate.

“Every time you take a series against a good club like the Giants, it’s good. Last night was a good win for us, coming back against Samardzija–he’s a great pitcher. To take that win away from them was huge and tonight we came back too, so it’s a start.”

St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos MartinezCarlos Martinez started the game for St. Louis and allowed three runs while striking out seven hitters. He also threw three wild pitches.

“He was good,” said Molina. “He was right over the top with the fastball, his breaking ball was moving a lot. He was in and out, down. He was good for us.

“That’s exactly right,” agreed Martinez through translator Alexandra Noboa. “He kept on saying my (curveball) had a lot of movement and was hard to catch, but he kept on giving me all the support and told me to stay in the game and to just do the best that I can that he was going to try and catch it as much as possible.”

The Cardinals threw a total of four wild pitches on the night–just the seventh time since 1913 to do so and first time since 2009.

“I do feel like that I really tried to strike as many people out,” added Martinez. “I tried to find as much movement, I know they were trying to get a fastball out of me, but I was trying to keep it up and mix it up as much as possible.”

For Yadier Molina, Sunday marked his 54th game this season behind the plate and raised his ML-leading total to 448.1 innings catching.

“No, I feel good–I feel strong,” answered Molina when asked if he was being overworked.

In fact, compared to last year he has received some additional time off.

In 2015, Molina was replaced in the game only five times through the end of May. This year, he was able to exit early 11 times in that same span.

“It helps,” Yadi agreed. “It’s been good. Every time you can get a rest it’s good for your body. So far, so good–right now I’m feeling great, I’m feeling strong so keep going.”

Additionally, he caught 15 extra innings in the first two months last season–this year, he’s only had 1.1 of extra innings work.

St. Louis Cardinals Yadier Molina uses new helmet“When you play 7 innings and you take one off…it may help you a lot,” continued Molina.

“Maybe that one inning that you’re supposed to play, you get hit in the face or get hit somewhere else. That helps you, that helps your body.”

The last couple of games, Molina has had a different look at the plate–not in his stance or swing, but with an extended jaw piece on his batting helmet.

“Just protection,” downplayed Molina.

photo credit:  Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports, Bill Greenblatt/UPI

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