In his first appearance batting fourth this season, Yadier Molina looked every part the clean-up hitter as he went 3 for 4 at the plate–including his 100th career home run, to help the St. Louis Cardinals beat San Francisco 4-3 on Wednesday night.
“It means a lot,” said Molina of the solo shot. “Obviously, you always dream about your first one but 100–it means a lot, that’s a dream come true. I feel good about it.”
Yadi hit his 99th homer on Monday.
“I can’t lie to you, yeah, I was thinking about it,” he shared about reaching the century mark. “I was hoping to do it early enough so that I can get it out of the way and got it tonight.”
“Every time you get a hit to help your team win, it’s a great feeling,” said Molina. “The first pitch, I was taking all the way. I was ready to hit after the first one but he missed the spot. I think he was trying to go with that slider down and away, but he missed the spot.”
The catcher also made a difference behind the plate–besides his usual game generalship, he threw out Kelby Tomlinson from his knees in the 7th inning.
“Sometimes it’s about reactions–when you see the jump the runner has, you don’t have time to come up so you have to react and that’s way I react onto my knees,” said Molina, who added he’s always been blessed with the ability to that.
“I couldn’t do it,” stated Mike Matheny. “He can and if you can, why don’t you? He’s been extremely quick doing that and I think he’s found a good rhythm with it. A lot of times, I think if he sees that he has a real good shot, he’s going to go ahead and do his normal footwork but if it’s something he’s going to have to be lightning quick about, he seems to be quicker from his knees right now.”
“Probably a little bit of both,” explained Molina of the timing or arm-strength carrying the move. “You have to have the reaction and the arm too. I don’t like to throw from my knees, but in that case, he got a good jump so I had to.”
Molina is the second catcher in St. Louis Cardinals franchise history to hit 100 home runs, joining Ted Simmons (127).
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports