Source: Joe Lemire, Sports Illustrated
Entering the World Series, Cardinals rookie postseason sensation Michael Wacha had thrown 1,048 pitches to Yadier Molina and had shaken off his five-time Gold Glove-winning catcher a startlingly small number of times.
“Zero,” Wacha said. “It’s total confidence in him. . . . I’ve gotten pretty used to what he’s going to be calling so I’m thinking about it in my head already, but if I’m thinking about a different pitch and he puts down a another one, I’m thinking, ‘You know what, this guy’s probably right. I’m going to stick with that.'”
That Molina is an essential part of St. Louis’ pitching success is no secret, but the magnitude of the pitchers’ trust in his preparation and intuition — especially by the many young arms on its World Series roster — cannot be overstated.
Molina excels at limiting opponents’ running games, pitch framing and blocking balls in the dirt, too, but the extreme confidence his pitchers have in the way he calls a game is superlative.