Home BaseballSt. Louis Cardinals Adam Wainwright & Yadier Molina Make Their 325th Career Regular Season Start As Batterymates Tonight

Adam Wainwright & Yadier Molina Make Their 325th Career Regular Season Start As Batterymates Tonight

by Mick Lite

Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina make their 325th career regular season start as batterymates tonight, establishing a new all-time Major League record and passing the 324 starts mark set by the Detroit Tigers duo of Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan (1963-75) nearly 50 seasons ago.

  • The next active pair behind Waino & Yadi is the Cubs battery of Kyle Hendricks & Willson Contreras (105 starts). Bob Gibson & Tim McCarver (197 starts) held previous franchise record before being surpassed by Waino and Yadi on June 15, 2016 vs. Houston.
  • Molina and Wainwright have made 368 overall appearances together since 2005, 6th-most by any battery in Major League Baseball since 1961. Molina has caught 44 relief appearances by Wainwright, (2005-06, 2017), most recently on Sept 23, 2017 at Pittsburgh.
  • Waino & Yadi have 212 team wins in starts together, most for any starting battery all-time in MLB history . The Cards duo set a new record with their 203rd team victory on May 15, 2022 vs. San Francisco, passing the previous record total of 202 wins held by Warren Spahn & Del Crandall.
  • Adam & Yadier have teamed up for 1,813 strikeouts over their 368 career appearances together, 2nd in MLB history to Mickey Lolich & Bill Freehan (1,876).
  • Waino and Yadi’s first appearance as a starting battery was April 6, 2007 at Houston (4-2 win) … Wainwright’s first batter faced was future Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, who popped out to Molina.
  • The first time Molina (age 23.072) caught Wainwright (age 24.024) in their Major League careers was in relief on Sept. 23, 2005 at Milwaukee (1.0 IP), as Waino retired Chad Moeller (flyout), Jeff Cirillo (popout), & Brady Clark (flyout) with 13 pitches in the 7th inning.
  • Current MLB players who were active when Wainwright threw Molina his first pitch are Nelson Cruz, Miguel Cabrera, Zack Greinke, Rich Hill, Justin Verlander, and Albert Pujols.
  • Tony Cruz has caught Waino for the 2nd-most starts (17) in his career, while Gary Bennett has been his catcher in the 2nd-most career appearances (29).
  • Eric Fryer was Wainwright’s last starting catcher when Molina was active or not temporarily sidelined due to injury (Game 2 of a doubleheader on April 27, 2017 vs. Toronto — Molina caught Carlos Martínez in the twinbill opener).
  • Mike Mahoney caught Wainwright’s Major League debut on Sept. 11, 2005 vs. the Mets at Busch Stadium II (Waino’s only appearance at Busch II). Molina started and was replaced by Einar Díaz in the 8th. Mahoney and Wainwright then entered the game in the 9th inning as part of six simultaneous defensive substitutions by Tony La Russa.
  • The first pitcher Molina (age 21.326) caught in his MLB debut was starter Woody Williams (age 37.286) on June 3, 2004 at PNC Park. First batter faced was Jason Kendall.
  • Molina was at catcher for Wainwright’s first career win (May 9, 2006 vs. Colorado) and save (May 19, 2006 at Kansas City).
  • Waino’s career ERA is 3.21 (763er/2,136.1ip) with Molina behind the dish and a combined 4.06 (186er/412.1ip) with his 17 other Cardinals catchers in his 17-year career: Tony Cruz (109.0), Andrew Knizner (87.2), Gary Bennett (87.1), Jason LaRue (31.1), Eric Fryer (18.1), Matt Pagnozzi (14.0), A.J. Pierzynski (12.1), Matt Wieters (11.2), Carson Kelly (7.1), Francisco Peña (7.0), Ivan Herrera (7.0), Mark Johnson (6.0), Austin Romine (5.1), Rob Johnson (4.0), Travis Tartamella (2.0), Ed Easley (1.0), and Mike Mahoney (1.0).
  • Wainwright has thrown 2,136.1 of his career 2,548.2 (83.8%) regular season innings to Molina, 4th-most all-time in MLB history among batterymates. Molina has caught Wainwright in 2,136.1 of his career 18,223.0 (11.7%) regular season innings. Molina’s 2nd-most caught is Chris Carpenter (1,079.0 innings).
  • Molina and Wainwright have been a starting battery in 15 postseason games, tied with the Yankees duo of Mike Mussina and Jorge Posada for 5th-most in MLB postseason history. Wainwright has also made 11 postseason relief outings with Molina behind the dish, including the memorable final pitches of the 2006 NLCS (Carlos Beltrán strikeout looking) and World Series (Brandon Inge strikeout swinging).
  • In Waino’s first season in the Cardinals organization in 2004, he and Yadi made eight starts together with Memphis (AAA).
  • Molina (2018) and Wainwright (2020) are both Roberto Clemente Award recipients.
  • Wainwright (AA-Greenville) and Molina (AA-Tennessee) faced off in the 2003 Southern League before becoming teammates. The two squared off in the 2019 Spring Training Exhibition at AutoZone Park when Wainwright pitched for Memphis (AAA). After pointing his bat to left field and calling his shot, Molina grounded out to shortstop.

 

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Mick Lite served for 12 years in the military and is now an entrepreneur and photographer. Has worked as the official scorer and social media manager for the River City Rascals, Statistician for the Missouri Monsters and St. Louis Attack arena football teams, and as the Team Photographer and social media consultant for the St. Charles Chill, SLU Hockey, St. Louis Slam, and Gateway Grizzlies.

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