Molina's Gold Glove streak ends at 8 years

November 9th, 2016

ST. LOUIS -- 's Gold Glove reign has come to an end.

After eight straight years of winning Rawlings' defensive hardware, the Cardinals catcher fell short in 2016. Instead, it was San Francisco's who tugged the award from Molina's grip after leading all National League catchers with 12 Defensive Runs Saved.

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Molina did finish as a top 3 votegetter at the position, as did among NL pitchers. Wainwright, too, fell short, as the D-backs' prevented Wainwright from claiming his third career Gold Glove Award. This marks the first time since 2007 and just the second since 1999 in which the Cardinals have failed to net at least one Gold Glove award.

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Had he won the award this season, Molina would have joined Ozzie Smith and Bob Gibson as the only players in franchise history to win Gold Glove honors for nine consecutive seasons. Molina still ranks third behind Ivan Rodriguez (13) and Johnny Bench (10) for the most Gold Glove Awards won by a catcher in Major League history.

This was not, however, one of Molina's stronger defensive seasons. Though not entirely the fault of his own, Molina threw out a career-low 21 percent of attempted basestealers. Opponents swiped 67 bases off Molina this year, 30 more than in 2015. Molina also finished the year with a -1 DRS and a career-most eight passed balls.

In stumping for Molina's candidacy late in the season, manager Mike Matheny said that he hoped Molina's workload would weigh in as voters considered Molina for the award. Molina made more starts (142) and caught more innings (1,218 1/3) than any catcher in baseball -- and it wasn't even close. No other player started more than 128 games behind the plate.

Voting for Gold Glove Awards is done by managers and coaches on each team. They may not vote for their own players and can only vote for players in their league. Those votes are then combined with a SABR Defensive Index -- a measure of the number of runs saved by a player's defensive performance compared to the average defensive player at that position -- to determine the winners.