Last Sunday, the Cardinals used a blowout win as an opportunity to let Albert Pujols . On Sunday, the Cardinals had another lopsided lead. And another veteran who wanted to take the mound. This time around, an 18-0 lead paved the way for Yadier Molina's turn in an 18-4 victory.
He was even warmed up by Pujols:
In terms of the results, they weren't great. Molina gave up four runs on four hits, including two home runs, while working toward his three recorded outs. He did get the outs, though, and the fun moment was much more important than tracking Molina's pitching line.
We've all seen Molina's arm from behind the plate and we know it's still a cannon. On this note, let's point out that anyone worried about Molina's arm being screwed up from one inning of work on the mound can rest easy. His fastball maxed out at 69.7 miles per hour and he even threw a pitch as slow as 42.9, according to Statcast. The average velocity on his 19 pitches? A cool 58.2 miles per hour.
That'll both explain the four runs allowed and shut down any worrywarts.
Molina has appeared in 2,173 regular-season games and 102 playoff games, but this was his first time on the mound. The 36.00 ERA isn't going to turn any heads, but, again, that's not really what this was all about. The game was already over and it was just time for mess around and have a little fun.
In more serious matters, the Cardinals closed out the three-game sweep of the Pirates and moved to 23-18 on the season.