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Adam Wainwright threw this pitch almost directly into the ground to protect Yadier Molina

50 Cent. Mayor Mark Mallory. Adam Wainwright. What do all three have in common? They've spiked pitches almost directly into the dirt.

While the hip-hop artist and politician may have let the ball loose accidentally, or perhaps just had too much pine tar on their hands, Wainwright had a much better reason for his end zone-like spike: Saving his catcher. 

With two on and one out in the top of the fourth of the Cardinals' 2-1 loss to the Cubs, Wainwright faced Cubs' hurler (and home run-hitter) Jake Arrieta. He then threw his pitch almost directly into the ground in what Wainwright later told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com was "one of the worst pitches of all-time."

But there was a good reason for it. "I saw [Molina] shift outside -- I was looking at a different part of the plate," the right-hander said. "And so when I saw that -- and I've seen it before -- I thought he was looking for a breaking ball and I had fastball grip. I did not want to throw a ball and hit him in the collarbone or something and knock Yadier out. So I pull-hooked it and erred on the side of not hitting him ... by about 20 or 30 yards." 

I think Molina would agree that was probably the right decision, too. You can listen to Wainwright's comments below: